The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without three starters Sunday against the New York Jets after the trio was placed on the COVID-19 list.
Standout pass rusher Josh Allen, receiver Laviska Shenault and guard Ben Bartch were placed on the reserve list Saturday and won’t make the trip to New Jersey.
Allen is unvaccinated and will be out at least 10 days, according to current NFL protocol. He also will miss the team’s Jan. 2 game at New England.
The Jets, who have been hit hard this week by the coronavirus, activated wide receiver Jeff Smith and special teams ace Justin Hardee from the COVID-19 list — making them eligible to play against Jacksonville. New York still has 17 players on the list who are either on the active or practice squad rosters, or injured reserve.
Jets coach Robert Saleh also remains out after testing positive earlier in the week. He needs two negative tests to be cleared to coach the game. If not, tight ends coach Ron Middleton will handle Saleh’s duties.
Buffalo placed Gabriel Davis on its reserve/COVID-19 list, leaving the Bills without another key receiving threat for Sunday’s big game against the Patriots.
The Jaguars (2-12) have had few players land on the COVID-19 list this season, and Allen even addressed Wednesday how he has handled daily testing as an unvaccinated player.
“(Even) if I was vaccinated, I will always take care of myself,” he said. “I have a young family at home, so I try to not only protect myself but protect them as well. … For me, I come to work and wear my mask and made the decision for myself and my family so now I have to stick with it.
“Thankfully, didn’t have to miss a game due to that and just continue to stay safe and continue to do my job and do my part. A lot of my teammates also know so they are all aware what’s good to do and what’s not good to do so thankful for those guys.”
Davis joined slot receiver Cole Beasley on Buffalo’s list. Davis had two touchdowns and a season-high 85 yards receiving in last weekend’s 31-14 win over Carolina, filling in for Emmanuel Sanders after he was sidelined by a knee injury.
Sanders is in position to return after he practiced fully on Thursday.
Buffalo (8-6) is right behind AFC East-leading New England (9-5), but has the tiebreaking edge to clinch its second division title by winning its final three games of the season.
Offensive lineman Cody Ford also was added to the Bills’ reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, and coach Sean McDermott said special teams coordinator Heath Farwell and defensive line coach Eric Washington were in the protocols.
Practice squad offensive lineman Bobby Hart was cleared from the list.
Ford was starting in place of Jon Feliciano, whose status is uncertain after he was placed on the list on Sunday.
Tennessee has placed an offensive lineman on the COVID-19 list three straight days, with left tackle Taylor Lewan joining left guard Rodger Saffold and reserve lineman Kendall Lamm on the list.
Lewan was scratched from Tennessee’s 20-17 win over the 49ers on Thursday night because of an injured back.
But the Titans activated WR Dez Fitzpatrick and defensive back Jamal Carter off the COVID list. Carter is on the practice squad/injured list.
Asked Friday morning how the players on that list are doing, Titans coach Mike Vrabel said: “That is something that is always important is making sure that we stay connected with those individuals. It gets lonely. They are doing well.”
AP Pro Football Writers Mark Long, Teresa M. Walker and Dennis Waszak Jr., and AP Sports Writer John Wawrow contributed.
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