Aug 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (2) runs the ball against Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keanu Neal (42) in the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys LB Keanu Neal tests positive for COVID-19

Cowboys linebacker Keanu Neal has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas coach Mike McCarthy announced Saturday.

Neal, who is not fully vaccinated, had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday as a close contact.

Neal, 26, played his first five NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before signing with Dallas in April.

He registered six tackles in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and added three tackles (one for loss) in last Sunday’s 20-17 win against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Cowboys played without offensive linemen Zack Martin and Brandon Knight in Week 1 and they were missing defensive end Randy Gregory in Week 2 due to COVID-19 protocols.

–Field Level Media

Oct 4, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson (45) sacks Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Ravens LB Jaylon Ferguson tests positive for COVID-19

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson tested positive for COVID-19, ESPN reported Friday

Ferguson’s availability for Sunday’s road game against the Detroit Lions (0-2) is now in question. If Ferguson is vaccinated, he must return two negative tests taken 24 hours apart. If he is unvaccinated, he must isolate at least 10 days.

The Athletic reported contact tracing is ongoing. If an unvaccinated player is deemed to be a close contact, he will have to go on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Ferguson was one of eight Ravens absent from practice Friday.

Ferguson, 25, recorded two tackles in the first two games of the season for the Ravens (1-1).

He has 63 tackles, 4.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 30 career games (10 starts) since being selected by Baltimore in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Aug 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (2) runs the ball against Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keanu Neal (42) in the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys place LB Keanu Neal on COVID-19 list

The Dallas Cowboys placed linebacker Keanu Neal on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.

The team said his status for Monday’s home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles is uncertain.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Neal, who is not fully vaccinated, was identified as a high-risk close contact and that he has not tested positive for the virus.

Neal, 26, played his first five NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before signing with Dallas in April.

He registered six tackles in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and added three tackles (one for loss) in last Sunday’s 20-17 win against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Cowboys played without offensive linemen Zack Martin and Brandon Knight in Week 1 and were missing defensive end Randy Gregory in Week 2 due to COVID-19 protocols.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon (28) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Harrison Hand (38) on November 1, 2020, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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Vikings CB Harrison Hand put on COVID-19 list

The Minnesota Vikings placed cornerback Harrison Hand on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.

In his second season, Hand played Week 1 and recorded two tackles in the overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and sat out last Sunday with a hamstring injury. The Vikings fell to 0-2 after a heartbreaking 34-33 loss at the Arizona Cardinals.

Minnesota selected Hand, 22, in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He appeared in 14 games (one start) last season and contributed 17 tackles, an interception and three passes defensed.

The Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks (1-1) on Sunday in their season debut in Minneapolis.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) loses his helmet as he makes a catch against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs put WR Antonio Brown on COVID-19 list

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put wide receiver Antonio Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.

Brown will need to be asymptomatic and return two negative tests 24 hours apart to be eligible to play in the team’s Week 3 game Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.

Brown is fully vaccinated, given coach Bruce Arians’ proclamation earlier this month that the team hit the 100 percent threshold for vaccines.

Brown has six receptions for 138 yards and one touchdown on 10 targets in two games this season. He started the season opener against Dallas and had five catches for 121 yards and a score.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Western Michigan Broncos head coach Tim Lester on the sideline in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Western Michigan coach Tim Lester (COVID-19) to miss Saturday game

Western Michigan coach Tim Lester will miss Saturday’s game against San Jose State after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lester, 44, said Tuesday that he was tested after feeling mild symptoms on Sunday — the day after a big 44-41 road win at Pitt.

“Thankfully, due to being fully vaccinated, I am feeling OK,” Lester said in a statement. “Our program has practiced, and will continue to practice athletic department safety guidelines and protocols.”

Lester, who is in his fifth year at Western Michigan, said he will be away from the team this week but will assist virtually in preparing for the Spartans. He did not announce who will fill in as head coach against San Jose State.

The Broncos (2-1) will play their Mid-American Conference opener at Buffalo on Oct. 2.

Lester quarterbacked the Broncos in the late 1990s.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) runs against Atlanta Falcons safety Duron Harmon (21) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles TE Zach Ertz tests positive for COVID-19

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz was placed on the COVID/reserve list on Monday.

There is ample time for Ertz to get back in the fold, as Philadelphia plays the Dallas Cowboys on “Monday Night Football” to end Week 3.

Ertz would require two negative tests 24 hours apart to be cleared medically under the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols for vaccinated players. Ertz has discussed his decision to be vaccinated publicly.

Dallas Goedert has worked his way ahead of Ertz in the Eagles’ tight end rotation.

Ertz had one reception for six yards Sunday in a the Eagles’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He caught two passes for 34 yards in the opener at Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery is shown during the second day of Green Bay Packers rookie minicamp Saturday, May 15, 2021 in Green Bay, Wis.

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Packers DL coach Jerry Montgomery (COVID-19) to miss game

Green Bay Packers defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery will miss Monday night’s game against the visiting Detroit Lions due to COVID-19 protocols, the team announced Saturday.

Montgomery reportedly hasn’t attended Green Bay practices this week.

The Packers said that defensive quality control coach Wendel Davis, inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti and outside linebackers coach Mike Smith will all help with coaching the defensive line against the Lions.

Montgomery is in his seventh season on the Green Bay, the past four as defensive line coach.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;   Los Angeles Rams fans celebrate after a touchdown in the second half against the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

SoFi Stadium fans must have vaccinations or negative COVID tests

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is requiring fans attending Rams and Chargers games to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours.

The mandate takes effect beginning Oct. 7 at all outdoor events with at least 10,000 attendees and impacts anyone age 12 or over. Children do not need to have been tested but must wear a mask. Adults also must wear masks.

The first Chargers game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood under the health department edict will be Oct. 10 against the Cleveland Browns. For the Rams, it’s Oct. 24 against the Detroit Lions.

Fans must have had the final dose of their vaccine at least two weeks before game day and must show their vaccination card or an electronic version of their card. If they have not been fully vaccinated, they must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours before event time.

People attending NFL games in Buffalo, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Seattle also must be fully vaccinated.

The Los Angeles County order also will apply to any postseason games that might be played at Dodger Stadium, at USC football games at the Coliseum or any pro soccer games with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

It doesn’t apply to games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, where UCLA football plays, because the city of Pasadena has its own health department.

–Field Level Media

Nov 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Saints’ COVID-19 coaches outbreak up to eight

Two more New Orleans Saints coaches are slated to miss Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Panthers due to COVID-19 protocols, raising the total to eight expected to miss the contest in Charlotte, N.C.

Assistant head coach/defensive line Ryan Nielsen and pass rush specialist Brian Young will not be with the team in Charlotte, the team announced Saturday.

The team announced Friday that seven coaches would miss the game. However, one of those seven, offensive line coach Brendan Nugent, has now been cleared to be with the team on Sunday.

The team said Friday that offensive analyst Jim Chaney, offensive assistant Declan Doyle, assistant special teams coach Phil Galiano, senior offensive assistant/receivers coach Curtis Johnson, run game coordinator/tight ends coach Dan Roushar and running backs coach Joel Thomas are expected to miss the contest.

The team said the coaching responsibilities will be divided among the remaining staff.

Saints coach Sean Payton said earlier this week that the entire coaching staff is vaccinated.

–Field Level Media