NFL COVID-19 Tracker: Updated Team Info On Opt Outs, Confirmed Cases

Posted By Juan Carlos Blanco on August 6, 2020 - Last Updated on September 2, 2020
NFL COVID-19 Tracker Coronavirus opt out positive players

The NFL has beat the odds thus far by actually convening training camps during a pandemic. Naturally, plenty of uncertainty remains around the possibility of a sport that has an abundance of intimate contact on every single play being able to carry out a full regular season and postseason.

But the NFL, which has had the advantage of seeing how other professional sports leagues have handled a return to play over the last few months, believes it has the protocols in play to withstand whatever haymakers COVID-19 throws its way and power through.

On that note, however, this season promises to be a unique one from a betting perspective. There’s little doubt there will be key absences on both sides of the ball for each team at different junctures. That will – in turn – make for a volatile NFL betting landscape in 2020.

Part of unique accommodations made in deference of the health crisis for this coming season has been offering players the option of choosing not to play and still collecting some form of salary:

  • Players considered “high-risk individuals” due to some form of preexisting condition will receive a $350,000 stipend.
  • Players considered less of a risk will receive a $150,000 stipend.
  • Players can also opt out within the season if a family member becomes ill.
  • Opt-out decisions must be provided to the NFL in writing and are irrevocable.

Additionally, a special COVID-19/reserve list has been created for those players that have either tested positive for coronavirus or have been exposed to someone who has.

Betting perspective

The other direct impact COVID-19 can and will have throughout the upcoming season is on the concept of home-field advantage. The unique advantages and corresponding disadvantages of playing in front of fans are most pronounced in football, where the factors such as noise and raw emotion can have the greatest impact on in-game performance.

Such is the influence, oddsmakers typically build in an automatic three-point advantage for the home team into their pro football lines. However, there will be adjustments this season. At most, fans may be allowed into stadiums at half the amount of the venue’s capacity. There’s also a strong chance we’re talking more along the lines of quarter-full or empty stadiums in certain parts of the country and/or the season. In such cases, the concrete and intangible edges teams typically enjoy in front of a raucous home crowd will be non-existent, reshaping the betting perspective on the game in the process.

TeamPlayer Opt-outsConfirmed cases       
Arizona CardinalsOL Marcus GilbertNone
Atlanta FalconsNoneFB Keith Smith (cleared, placed on list in early August)
S Jamal Carter (cleared, placed on list in early August)
DL Steven Means
Baltimore RavensOT Andre Smith
WR D. Thomas
None
Buffalo BillsDT Star Lotulelei
CB EJ Gaines
WR Duke Williams (cleared, placed on list in July)
CB Dane Jackson (cleared, placed on list in July)
Carolina PanthersLB Jordan Mack
DE Christian Miller
CB Derrek Thomas
Chicago BearsDT Eddie Goldman
S Jordan Lucas
None
Cincinnati BengalsOT Isaiah Prince
DT Josh Tupou
LB Kendall Futrell (cleared, placed on list in July)
WR John Ross (cleared, placed on list in early August)
Cleveland BrownsOL Drake Dorbeck
OL Drew Forbes
DT Andrew Billings
OL Malcolm Pridgeon
OL Colby Gossett
QB Garrett Gilbert (cleared, placed on list in July)
WR Ja’Marcus Bradley (cleared, placed on list in July)
Dallas CowboysCB Maurice Canady
WR Stephen Guidry
FB Jamize Olawale
WR Jon’Vea Johnson (cleared, placed on list in July)
CB Saivion Smith (cleared, placed on list in July)
Denver BroncosDT Kyle Peko
OL JaWuan James
FB Andrew Beck (cleared, placed on list earlier in August)
Detroit LionsDT John Atkins
WR G. Allison
OL Russell Bodine
TE T.J. Hockenson (cleared, placed on list in July)
SS Jalen Elliott (cleared, placed on list in early August)
CB Amani Oruwariye (cleared, placed on list in July)
Green Bay PackersWR Devin FunchessTE Jace Sternberger (cleared, placed on list in late July)
LS Hunter Bradley (cleared, placed on list in early August)
DT Treyvon Hester (cleared, placed on list in early August)
OLB Greg Roberts (cleared, placed on list in late July)
K Mason Crosby (cleared, placed on list in late July)
Houston TexansDT E. VanderdoesNone
Indianapolis ColtsLB Skai Moore CB Marvell Tell
SS Rolan Milligan
WR Malik Henry (cleared and released from team, placed on list earlier in August)
CB Jackson Porter (cleared, placed on list earlier in August)
Jacksonville JaguarsDL Al Woods
DE Lerentee McCray CB Rashaan Melvin
RB Ryquell Armstead (cleared, placed on list in early August)
OL Tre’Vour Wallace-Sims (cleared, placed on list in early August)
OL Ryan Pope (cleared, placed on list in early August)
Kansas City ChiefsOL L. Duvernay-Tardif
RB Damien Williams
OL Lucas Niang
None
Las Vegas RaidersDB DJ Killings
DE J. Valoaga
CB D.J. Killings (cleared, placed on list in July)
DL Maxx Crosby (cleared, placed on list in early August)
RB Rod Smith (cleared, placed on list in early August)
LA ChargersNoneNone
LA RamsOT Chandler BrewerLB Terrell Lewis (cleared, placed on list in late July)
Miami DolphinsWR Allen Hurns
WR Albert Wilson
RB Malcolm Perry (cleared, placed on list in July)
OL Ereck Flowers (cleared, placed on list in August)
CB Xavien Howard (cleared, placed on list in August)
Minnesota VikingsDT Michael PierceOL Tyler Higby (cleared, placed on list in July)
OL Oli Udoh (cleared, placed on list in early August)
DL Armon Watts (cleared, placed on list in July)
LB Cameron Smith (cleared, placed on list in July)
WR Justin Jefferson (cleared, placed on list in July)
LB Anthony Barr (cleared, placed on list in July)
New England PatriotsRB Brandon Bolden
LB D. Hightower
OL Najee Toran
FB Danny Vitale
OL M. Cannon
S Patrick Chung
WR Marqise Lee
TE Matt LaCosse
None
New Orleans SaintsTE Cole Wick
TE J. Vander Laan
RB Dwayne Washington
New York GiantsOL Nate Solder
WR D. Scott
CB Sam Beal
CB Shakial Taylor
None
New York JetsOL L. Koloamantangi
LB CJ Mosley WR Josh Doctson
LB James Burgess (cleared, placed on list in early August)
CB Bryce Hall (cleared, placed on list in early August)
LB Ahmad Gooden (cleared and released, placed on list in early August)
CB Shyheim Carter (cleared, placed on list in early August)
Philadelphia EaglesWR M. GoodwinOL Lane Johnson (cleared, placed on list in July)
OL Jordan Mailata (cleared, placed on list in early August)
LB Nate Gerry (cleared, placed on list in July)
Pittsburgh SteelersNoneRB Jaylen Samuels (cleared, placed on list in early August)
WR J. Washington (cleared, placed on list in July)
CB Justin Lane (cleared, placed on list in July)
San Francisco 49ersWR T. Benjamin
OL Jake Brendel
OL Shon Coleman
LB Fred Warner
Seattle SeahawksOL Chance WarmackNone
Tampa Bay BuccaneersNoneRB K. Vaughn (cleared, placed on list in July)
RB Raymond Calais (cleared, placed on list in July)
RB A. Ware (cleared, placed on list in July)
Tennessee TitansOL A. McKinney
LB Josh Smith (cleared and released, placed on list in early August)
DE Jack Crawford (cleared, placed on list in early August)
Washington Football TeamDE Caleb Brantley
LB J. Harvey-Clemson
TE Logan Thomas (cleared, placed on list in July)

AFC East

New England Patriots

Opt outs:

RB Brandon Bolden
OL Marcus Cannon
S Patrick Chung
LB Dont’a Hightower
WR Marqise Lee
OL Najee Toran
FB Danny Vitale
TE Matt LaCosse

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: The Patriots are easily the team with the biggest collection of names opting to sit out the season. The absences of Hightower, Chung, and LaCosse will arguably hurt the most. New England does have a viable replacement for Chung in fellow veteran Adrian Phillips, but the current tight end group is especially thin and sixth-round rookie Cassh Maluia has opened camp in Hightower’s vacated inside linebacker role.

Buffalo Bills

Opt outs:

DL Star Lotulelei
CB E.J. Gaines

Confirmed COVID cases:

WR Duke Williams (cleared, placed on list in July)
CB Dane Jackson (cleared, placed on list in July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Gaines missed all of last season but was expected to compete for a starting job this year. Lotulelei has been a mainstay in the DL rotation the last two years as a run-stuffer and even contributed a pair of sacks last season, but Buffalo has plenty of depth overall to contend with his absence.

Miami Dolphins

Opt outs:

WR Allen Hurns
WR Albert Wilson

Confirmed COVID cases:

RB Malcolm Perry (cleared, placed on list in July)
OL Ereck Flowers (cleared, placed on list in August)
CB Xavien Howard (cleared, placed on list in August)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Each of the two receivers’ absences has a varying degree of impact. Hurns was serviceable at times last season with a 32-416-2 line, but Miami has faster and healthier options. However, Wilson’s savvy out of the slot will be missed, especially in an offense run by a coordinator in Chan Gailey that’s often thrived on four-and five-receiver sets in past locales.

New York Jets

Opt outs:

OL Leo Koloamatangi
LB C.J. Mosley
WR Josh Doctson

Confirmed COVID cases:

LB James Burgess (cleared, placed on list in early August)
CB Bryce Hall (cleared, placed on list in early August)
LB Ahmad Gooden (cleared and released, placed on list in early August)
CB Shyheim Carter (cleared, placed on list in early August)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Mosley ended up playing only two games in his 2019 Jets debut campaign due to injury, so from that standpoint, his absence doesn’t make a major impact. However, the veteran linebacker was projected to be an integral part of the defense now that he’d regained his health, and New York will likely turn to Neville Hewitt, who did start 12 games last season and collected 75 tackles and three sacks, to fill in.

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts

Opt outs:

LB Skai Moore                                                                                                                                                                                CB Marvell Tell
SS Rolan Milligan

Confirmed COVID cases:

WR Malik Henry (cleared and released from team, placed on list earlier in August)
CB Jackson Porter (cleared, placed on list earlier in August)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Moore’s absence isn’t expected to impact the Colts’ defense.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Opt outs:

LB Lerentee McCray
DL Al Woods
CB Rashaan Melvin

Confirmed COVID cases:

RB Ryquell Armstead (cleared, placed on list in early August)
OL Tre’Vour Wallace-Sims (cleared, placed on list in early August)
OL Ryan Pope (cleared, placed on list in early August)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: McCray had only five tackles a year ago but will be missed on special teams. Woods had just signed a free-agent contract this offseason to help plug up the run, but the team has 15-game starter Abry Jones to turn to at left defensive tackle.

Houston Texans

Opt outs:

DL Eddie Vanderdoes

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Vanderdoes’ absence hurts the Texans’ d-line depth to an extent, but his lack of availability won’t impact the team’s fortunes overall.

Tennessee Titans

Opt outs:

OL Anthony McKinney

Confirmed COVID cases:

LB Josh Smith (cleared and released, placed on list in early August)
DE Jack Crawford (cleared, placed on list in early August)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: McKinney was set to compete for a depth role as an offensive tackle.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Opt outs:

OL Andre Smith
WR De’Anthony Thomas

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Smith was expected to offer depth at offensive tackle, while Thomas, a speedy return specialist and gadget receiver that never fulfilled his potential in Kansas City, is likely easily replaceable by a number of candidates.

Cincinnati Bengals

Opt outs:

DL Josh Topou
OL Isaiah Prince

Confirmed COVID cases:

LB Kendall Futrell (cleared, placed on list in July)
WR John Ross (cleared, placed on list in early August)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis:  Tupou’s absence isn’t expected will cost the Bengals some run-stuffing depth on the defensive line, as he made seven starts last season among his 16 appearances and recorded 27 tackles. Cincy is set at the starting DT spots with offseason acquisition D.J. Reader and long-time vet Geno Atkins.

Cleveland Browns

Opt outs:

OL Drake Dorbeck
OL Drew Forbes
DT Andrew Billings
OL Malcolm Pridgeon
OL Colby Gossett

Confirmed COVID cases:

QB Garrett Gilbert (cleared, placed on list in July)
WR Ja’Marcus Bradley (cleared, placed on list in July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Dorbeck was an undrafted rookie whose absence won’t impact the Browns, but Billings costs Cleveland a solid member of their defensive tackle rotation who recorded 35 stops and one sack last season over 16 games. Forbes is a 2019 sixth-round pick that would likely just been a depth option at right guard.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Opt outs:

None

Confirmed COVID cases:

RB Jaylen Samuels (cleared, placed on list in early August)
WR James Washington (cleared, placed on list in July)
CB Justin Lane (cleared, placed on list in July)

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

Opt outs:

OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
OG Lucas Niang
RB Damien Williams

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Duvernay-Tardif made headlines as the first player to officially opt out, and his impact does cost the Chiefs a starting offensive guard. Niang was a candidate to potentially push for a starting guard job on the other side. However, Super Bowl LIV hero Damien Williams is naturally the big name here, and his decision presumably leaves the Chiefs running game largely in the hands of rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, whose all-around game could be even more dynamic than Williams’, but who also lacks the experience of the vet. Offseason signing DeAndre Washington should have a much bigger role than originally expected as well behind Edwards-Helaire, although as long as the offense has a healthy Patrick Mahomes, it will naturally run primarily through him.

Denver Broncos

Opt outs:

DL Kyle Peko
OT Ja’Wuan James

Confirmed COVID cases:

FB Andrew Beck (cleared, placed on list earlier in August)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: James, a 2014 first-round pick of the Dolphins, was scheduled to start at right tackle, and his absence should leave the starting job to Elijah Wilkinson. Peko’s absence should have minimal impact, as he primarily played a minor role on special teams last season.

Los Angeles Chargers

Opt outs:

None

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Las Vegas Raiders

Opt outs:

LB Ukeme Eligwe
DL Jeremiah Valoaga

Confirmed COVID cases:

CB D.J. Killings (cleared, placed on list in July)
DL Maxx Crosby (cleared, placed on list in early August)
RB Rod Smith (cleared, placed on list in early August)

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Opt outs:

CB Maurice Canady
WR Stephen Guidry
FB Jamize Olawale

Confirmed COVID cases:

WR Jon’Vea Johnson (cleared, placed on list in July)
CB Saivion Smith (cleared, placed on list in July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis:  Canady was expected to bring some experience to the CB depth chart, while Guidry was likely to be just a camp body as an undrafted rookie. Olawale was the starting fullback the last two seasons and a good coverage asset on special teams, so he’ll be missed on multiple units. Rookie Sewo Olonilua is set for starting fullback duties for the moment.

Philadelphia Eagles

Opt outs:

WR Marquise Goodwin

Confirmed COVID cases:

OL Lane Johnson (cleared, placed on list in July)
OL Jordan Mailata (cleared, placed on list in early August)
LB Nate Gerry (cleared, placed on list in July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Goodwin was looking to resurrect his career in Philadelphia after a very quiet year in San Francisco last season and would have served as veteran speed insurance if Desean Jackson suffered more injuries. However, Philly will look to talented rookie Jalen Reagor and 2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega Whiteside and Greg Ward to round out the receiver corps behind Alshon Jeffery and Jackson.

New York Giants

Opt outs:

OT Nate Solder
WR Da’Mari Scott
CB Sam Beal                                                                                                                                                       
CB Shakial Taylor

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Solder’s opt out is a big one, as it means second-year signal caller Daniel Jones will be without his starting left tackle from last season and Saquon Barkley will be without a dependable run blocker. The Giants do have the luxury of sliding in fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas, but he’ll now have to adapt quickly to the pro game after an offseason without on-field work. Meanwhile, Scott would have likely just played on special teams had he made the roster.

Washington Football Team

Opt outs:

DL Caleb Brantley
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons

Confirmed COVID cases:

TE Logan Thomas (cleared, placed on list in July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis:  Brantley barely played last season on defense or special teams, so his absence will have minimal impact. Caleb-Brantley was a bit more active, as he offered some depth at linebacker and played 136 snaps on special teams. However, he was not expected to compete for a starting job at linebacker in 2020.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

Opt outs:

TE Jason Vander Lean
TE Cole Wick

Confirmed COVID cases:

RB Dwayne Washington

Opt-Out Impact Analysis:  Both Vander Lean and Wick were merely expected to compete as tight end depth. The Saints are set at the position with Jared Cook and Josh Hill as their top two options.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opt outs:

None

Confirmed COVID cases:

RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn (cleared, placed on list in July)
RB Raymond Calais (cleared, placed on list in July)
RB Aca’Cedric Ware (cleared, placed on list in July)

Carolina Panthers

Opt outs:

LB Jordan Mack
LB Christian Miller

Confirmed COVID cases:

CB Derrek Thomas

Opt-Out Impact Analysis:  Mack played primarily on special teams after being selected in the fourth round in 2019, while Mack was an undrafted rookie that would have had an uphill battle to make the team at linebacker.

Atlanta Falcons

Opt outs:

None

Confirmed COVID cases:

FB Keith Smith (cleared, placed on list in early August)
S Jamal Carter (cleared, placed on list in early August)                                                                                           
DL Steven Means

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings

Opt outs:

DL Michael Pierce

Confirmed COVID cases:

OL Tyler Higby (cleared, placed on list in July)
OL Oli Udoh (cleared, placed on list in early August)
DL Armon Watts (cleared, placed on list in July)
LB Cameron Smith (cleared, placed on list in July)
WR Justin Jefferson (cleared, placed on list in July)
LB Anthony Barr (cleared, placed on list in July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Pierce’s departure costs the Vikings a possible replacement for the departed Linval Joseph at defensive tackle, as the former Raven had been signed this offseason with that in mind.

Chicago Bears

Opt outs:

DT Eddie Goldman
S Jordan Lucas

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Both Goldman and Lucas make an impact by choosing not to play in 2020. Goldman had 46 starts the last three seasons and was an active force against the run, while Lucas was slated to provide some depth and experience at safety after coming over from the Chiefs. Veteran John Jenkins may be the leading candidate to take Goldman’s place this coming season.

Detroit Lions

Opt outs:

DL John Atkins
WR Geronimo Allison
OL Russell Bodine

Confirmed COVID cases:

TE T.J. Hockenson (cleared, placed on list in July)
SS Jalen Elliott (cleared, placed on list in early August)
CB Amani Oruwariye (cleared, placed on list in July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Atkins’ absence will cost the Lions some depth in the defensive tackle rotation, as he showed some promise last season with 20 tackles over 12 games. Allison was a somewhat intriguing offseason signing given he’d started his career with the division-rival Packers but never quite fulfilled his physical potential. He would have likely competed for no better than the No. 4 receiver role, however, so Detroit will simply look to fill what may have been his spot with other candidates.

Green Bay Packers

Opt outs:

WR Devin Funchess

Confirmed COVID cases:

TE Jace Sternberger (cleared, placed on list in late July)
LS Hunter Bradley (cleared, placed on list in early August)
DT Treyvon Hester (cleared, placed on list in early August)
OLB Greg Roberts (cleared, placed on list in late July)
K Mason Crosby (cleared, placed on list in late July)

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Funchess was set to resume his career in Green Bay after an injury wiped out almost all of his 2019 in Indianapolis, and he would have had a chance to potentially secure a role at No. 2 or No. 3 receiver due to the Packers’ lack of depth behind Davante Adams. His absence could certainly increase the chances Allen Lazard, who showed flashes last season, steps up and secures the starting job opposite Adams.

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

Opt outs:

WR Travis Benjamin
OL Jake Brendel
OL Shon Coleman

Confirmed COVID cases:

LB Fred Warner

Los Angeles Rams

Opt outs:

OL Chandler Brewer

Confirmed COVID cases:

LB Terrell Lewis (cleared, placed on list in late July)

Arizona Cardinals

Opt outs:

OL Marcus Gilbert

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Gilbert was looking to bounce back from a September 2019 ACL tear, so he may have started the season at less than 100 percent anyhow. The 2011 second-round pick was slated to compete for a backup role.

Seattle Seahawks

Opt outs:

OL Chance Wormack

Confirmed COVID cases:

None

Opt-Out Impact Analysis: Warmack has some name value but hasn’t provided much on the field lately, as he also sat out all of 2019 and was simply a veteran offseason signing for Seattle. The Seahawks will move on with other depth options at guard.

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Written by
Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has served as a freelance writer for a wide variety of online publications and websites, with an intensive focus on fantasy sports. Juan has provided analysis and comprehensive coverage of the MLB, NBA, NFL, CFL, AAF and AFL while also reporting on news and developments in the daily fantasy sports and online gaming industries.

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