The Eagles are placing three wide receivers on the COVID-19 reserve list, a person familiar with the move told the USA TODAY Network, after one of the players tested positive for COVID-19. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move was not yet official.
This came one day after the NFL announced that all teams will operate under intensive protocols for the remainder of the season in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus among teams.
The Eagles' announcement is not expected to affect the ability to play Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, although it's expected that the player who tested positive, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, likely won't be able to play. Deontay Burnett and John Hightower were identified as close contacts, a person familiar with the situation told the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (19) looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Photo: Rich Barnes, USA TODAY Sports)
NFL reporters Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan were first to identify the players involved.
Burnett, who's on the practice squad, and Hightower have a chance to play if they have two negative tests in the days leading up to the game.
Safety Marcus Epps was the first Eagles' player to test positive since the regular-season started, back on Nov. 5. Epps missed the Eagles' game last Sunday against the Giants. He has returned to practice this week.
Last week, a staffer tested positive, senior defensive assistant Jeremiah Washburn. He stayed home for the Eagles' most recent game against the Giants.
Under the NFL's intensive protocols, which officially begin Saturday, all meetings have to take place virtually, and masks must be worn on practice fields at all times.
The Eagles went through this after Epps tested positive, and they were back in the intensive protocol Thursday.
– Martin Frank, Wilmington News Journal
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