Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule sent his team home Monday after six more players tested positive for COVID-19.
During a press conference held Monday, Rhule said the team will hold virtual meetings for now with the earliest return date set for Wednesday.
“We have some guys we are rerunning,” Rhule said. “I would say it is somewhat significant — enough that we’re going to stem the tide.”
Defensive ends Brian Burns and Marquis Haynes Sr., defensive tackles Phil Hoskins and Daviyon Nixon, linebacker Shaq Thompson, and center Matt Paradis all tested positive on Monday, according to ESPN. Nixon and Paradis were already listed on the injured reserve.
The team now has 14 players on its COVID-19 reserve list, including the eight who were already on the list heading into Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay. Those players include wide receiver Brandon Zylstra, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, center Pat Elflein, offensive lineman Dennis Daley, defensive ends Austin Larkin and Azur Kamara, safety Sam Franklin, and quarterback Matt Barkley.
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The NFL recently updated its COVID-19 protocols, which include allowing fully vaccinated players to return to the active list a day after testing positive for the virus if they test negative twice within 24 hours and are asymptomatic. Other changes included outdoor or remote meetings only, masking indoors for every player regardless of vaccination status, limiting the number of players in the workout room to 15, and prohibiting any visitors outside of the league when traveling.