Panthers Send Players Home After 6 More Positive COVID Tests

Panthers Send Players Home After 6 More Positive COVID Tests
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule talks with quarterback Sam Darnold, during an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 26, 2021. (Jacob Kupferman/AP Photo)
The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Carolina Panthers have sent all of their players home from Bank of America Stadium after six more players tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

That brings the total number of Carolina players on the COVID-19 reserve list to 13.

Defensive end Brian Burns, linebacker Shaq Thompson, defensive end Marquis Haynes, defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, center Matt Paradis and defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon all tested positive on Monday. Paradis and Nixon were already on injured reserve.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the decision to send players home was made “to stem the tide” and get things under control. The team will conduct its meetings virtually until then, and Rhule is hoping to have players back in the building for practice on Wednesday.

The Panthers lost 32–6 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and have been eliminated from playoff contention. They visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.


The Cincinnati Bengals placed backup quarterback Brandon Allen and already-injured cornerback/kick returner Darius Phillips on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. Phillips (shoulder), who was the Bengals’ primary kick returner, has been on injured reserve since Dec. 9.

Allen has been the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Joe Burrow. The team will likely have to add a quarterback to the roster.

Starting defensive tackle D.J. Reader missed last Sunday’s game after going on the COVID-19 list on Dec. 20, the same day that starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie came off it.

Cincinnati hosts Kansas City on Sunday.

The Indianapolis Colts placed safety Jahleel Addae, cornerback T.J. Carrie, linebacker Malik Jefferson, running back Marlon Mack and tackle Braden Smith on the list. Smith has been a key member of the offensive line that has helped Jonathan Taylor lead the league in rushing.

By Steve Reed