Three more Kansas City Chiefs players were added to the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday afternoon, bringing the tally of Chiefs out of action due to positive tests or close contact with someone known to have contracted the coronavirus to 13.
Added to the list Tuesday, per the NFL’s daily transactions report, were receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Blake Bell, cornerback Rashad Fenton, linebacker Nick Bolton, tackle Lucas Niang, guard Kyle Long and safety Armani Watts.
They join tight end Travis Kelce, cornerback Charvarius Ward and kicker Harrison Butker, who were placed on the list Monday, and defensive end Chris Jones, linebacker Willie Gay Jr. and receiver Josh Gordon, who landed there last week.
The AFC-leading Chiefs (10-4) face an increasingly urgent dilemma with just three pivotal regular-season games remaining. They’re scheduled to play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. Central time.
The Chiefs did not have media access Tuesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Steelers had no players on the COVID list.
How long the affected players might be out, while obviously secondary to the state of their general health, if they are ill, is unknown. The league recently revised its COVID return-to-play protocols, and those guidelines vary based on whether or not a player is vaccinated.
In the past week, games elsewhere have been rescheduled. Testing frequency has increased. But as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, the NFL is feeling the pinch.
The Rams, Browns, Cowboys, Vikings and Titans are among the list of teams that have been dealing with COVID cases and/or schedule alterations in just the past couple of weeks. Now the Chiefs are being rocked by coronavirus absences, though their game against Pittsburgh was still on as scheduled as of mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday that he was “hopeful” the team might get Jones, Gay and Gordon back in time for kickoff Sunday.
This story was originally published December 21, 2021 2:21 PM.