The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Ravens in Week 16 to take a one-game lead and secure the head-to-head tiebreaker over second-place Baltimore. The Bengals can clinch the AFC North with a win over the Chiefs in Week 17 or the Browns in Week 18,
While the Ravens and Browns have dealt with extensive COVID-19 issues over the past month, the Bengals have generally avoided anything significant thus far. They haven’t had a major outbreak, and now they head into the final two weeks with revised league protocols making it easier for positive players to return. Here’s a look at their COVID-19 list, which he’ll update as names come off and new names go on over the final two weeks of the regular season.
Bengals COVID-19 list
QB Brandon Allen (Placed Mon, Dec 27)
WR Auden Tate (Placed Tue, Dec 28)
LB Germaine Pratt (Placed Wed, Dec 29)
CB Darius Phillips (Placed Mon, Dec 27)
NFL COVID-19 protocols
The NFL changed its policy on Tuesday, December 28 following the CDC’s adjustment. If unvaccinated, a player must miss a minimum of five days if a close contact or a positive test. If they have not shown symptoms for at least 24 hours at the end of that five days, they are eligible to be activated.
A vaccinated player does not need to quarantine if a close contact, but does if they test positive. A vaccinated player can test out sooner than the five days if he is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours by one of the following options:
- He receivers two BRL PCR test results that are either negative or produce Cycle Threshold (CT) values of 35 or greater; OR
- He receive one BRL PCR test result that is either negative or produces CT values of 35 or greater and a negative Mesa test result from a test taken within 24 hours of the BRL PCR test. Both tests can be taken at the same time or less than 24 hours apart; OR
- He receives two negative MESA tests 24 hours after the initial swab was taken, but can be taken concurrently provided it’s two separate new swabs.