The Philadelphia Eagles have had one too many things go wrong this season, and unfortunately, they haven’t seen the end of it yet.
Today, safety Marcus Epps was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for coronavirus. He is now in self-isolation.
COVID-19 HITS THE EAGLES
The Eagles released a statement earlier today [Thursday] stating, “The Philadelphia Eagles received confirmation this morning that a player tested positive for COVID-19. The individual immediately went into self-isolation upon learning of his test result. We are following the NFL-NFLPA intensive protocols and remain in close communication with the league on this matter.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 5, 2020
Marcus Epps is the first Eagles player to test positive for coronavirus since the season started.
Offensive guard Matt Pryor was also on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in October after someone close to him tested positive. Pryor was negative.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON DURING BYE WEEK
Epps is currently asymptomatic, and no other players have yielded a positive result after Wednesday’s testing.
Philadelphia is on a bye this week, but the team took full advantage of their break, utilizing extra practice time to focus on improvement. The team was at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday. They will now have off Thursday to Sunday, giving Epps time to get healthy.
This season, Epps has played on special teams. He did spend time on the defense against the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers as injuries struck the Eagles.
Although the league has been following safety protocols put into effect prior to the beginning of the season, the Eagles are now under Intensive Protocol.
In addition to wearing masks at all times and remaining six feet apart, Intensive Protocol contains a stricter set of guidelines. Meetings must now be requested and cannot take place in any room smaller than full team rooms. Seats will also not be permitted in meals areas within the complex. Locker room use is strongly discouraged and no in-person contact is allowed among players and staff outside the facility.
Kinexon tracking devices must also be worn at all times, allowing the league to trace potential contacts.
These protocols will remain in place until the Eagles receive notice that they may return to standard protocols from the NFL Chief Medical Officer.
Players and staff must also remain in Philadelphia due to daily testing.
SURGES ACROSS THE NFL
The Philadelphia Eagles were not the only team to see positive COVID-19 cases among their own. As cases soar across the nation, the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, and Dallas Cowboys have also seen a rise in cases.
The Packers and 49ers are scheduled to meet tonight for Thursday Night Football; however, essential offensive players will be missing. The NFL is now looking into the 49ers to see whether COVID-19 violations have occurred, leading to the uptick.
For the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford has tested positive. The same is true for Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton who most recently suffered a concussion after taking over the position for Dak Prescott, who sustained an ankle injury.
THERE’S ALWAYS A PLAN B
In the event that games are lost due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL competition committee has prepared a contingency plan. This plan features eight playoff teams from each conference — four division champions and four wild-card teams from the AFC and NFC.
The playoff seeds would be 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5.
For now, all the Eagles and the remainder of the NFL can do is to remain safe, follow protocols, and leave it up to time.
The Eagles will return for Week 10 against the New York Giants next Sunday.