If you were hoping for a cushy reunion with Matt Barkley and Josh Allen on Sunday after the game, your hopes have been dashed. Barkley, the former backup quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, has been placed on Carolina’s Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Cam Newton, Carolina’s starting quarterback, has said he is fully vaccinated but the Panthers haven’t been taking chances. His backup P.J. Walker has been working remotely for most of this week as a precaution. Sam Darnold is not yet medically cleared to return.
COVID-19 diagnoses have ravaged the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams this week and numbers across the NFL have spiked. More players tested positive this week than the entire rest of the season combined. Waning immunity and the Omicron variant are believed to be the main culprits for the sharp increase in positives.
The NFL instituted more strict COVID-19 guidelines on teams on Thursday in response to the outbreaks.
The only other player on Carolina’s COVID list is Christian McCaffrey, who was already on injured reserve.
Buffalo placed left tackle Dion Dawkins on the COVID-19 Reserve list Friday but he still has a chance to play Sunday. LB Tyrel Dodson says he asymptomatic, according to his Twitter feed, so he could also play with two negative tests.