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Buffalo Bills linebacker Marquel Lee placed on Reserve/COVID-19 list

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills added depth linebacker Marquel Lee to the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday morning. We do not know if Lee tested positive or if he was labeled a high-risk close contact with someone else. There was no media availability before practice Tuesday and players won’t discuss it after practice so we likely won’t know until prior to practice on Wednesday.

Lee joins Dion Dawkins on the list. Dawkins hasn’t practiced since the beginning of training camp after testing positive at some point prior to reporting to One Bills Drive. He was on the field Monday, indicating his return could be close.

Ike Boettger was previously removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 list about a week ago after similarly coming to camp with a positive test.

Lee was fighting for a reserve linebacker and special teams role. He spent the 2020 season out of football after an injury in late 2019. He missed camp with the Las Vegas Raiders on the PUP list and was waived on August 3 with a failed physical. Prior to that he was a solid option at linebacker, with 68 tackles and 3 pass knockdowns in 2018 with the Raiders. That season he started ten games for them but injuries have derailed his upward trajectory.

Missing a large chunk of time in the middle of training camp isn’t going to help him make the roster. The timing means that if it is indeed a positive test, he may only have the preseason finale to put any game plays on tape. Even if he’s just a close contact, he will miss this weekend’s preseason opener.