NFL Allows Replacement Of COVID-19 Inactives In New Rule
The COVID-19 pandemic still prevents the NFL from constantly conducting safe and effective live matches and sports interaction. As such, the league announces updated protocols with the latest being a new game-day rule that allows teams to replace late COVID-19 inactives.
Tom Pelissero, a reporter for NFL Network and NFL.com, shared that the league already informed teams that if a positive test or high-risk close contact designation comes after the deadline for submitting game-day inactives, a team can activate a new player up to 30 minutes before kick-off. A source must be informed of the decision to lock-in the designated player. Inactives will then be required 90 minutes before kick-off.
The deadline for submission of the Club’s Game Day Administration Form remains at 90 minutes prior to kick-off. Effective beginning with Week 15 games, in the limited circumstance of a positive test or High Risk Close Contact designation on game day after the club submits its Game Day Administration Form, clubs will be permitted to adjust the submission of the Game Day Administration Form up to thirty minutes prior to kick-off.
If a club discovers that a player tested positive for COVID-19 or is a High Risk Close Contact after it submitted the Game Day Administration Form and up to thirty minutes prior to kick-off, the club must place the player on its Reserve/COVID list and may then activate on a one-for-one basis one of its previously inactive players, or implement the procedures for elevating a player pursuant to the Contagious Disease Addendum, as set forth in Player Personnel Memorandum 89-20, dated September 10, 2020.
These changes were brought about by an incident in the recent Ravens vs. Cowboys match. Dez Bryant was ruled out of the Baltimore Ravens Week 13 game against the Dallas Cowboys right before kick-off after he tested positive for COVID-19. Bryant got pulled from the game after inactives were announced, leaving the Ravens with one vacant roster. The Ravens then activated Bryant off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
In the future, with the new rule imposed, the Ravens and other affected teams can of course activate someone else instead of playing forward with one man down.