The entire NFL has experienced a COVID-19 spike since the start of Week 14, hitting coaches and players alike.
On Monday, 37 players went on the reserve list around the league, and more than 24 additional positive tests were announced by Tuesday afternoon. Before this week, the single-day high was 18. Now, the Falcons seem to be affected by the spread; according to Adam Shefter, the team is currently in enhanced protocols.
NFL now has seven teams in enhanced COVID protocols: Browns, Bears, Falcons, Lions, Rams, Vikings and the WFT.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 15, 2021
The Falcons only have three players — Emmanuel Ellerbee, Cornell Armstrong and Quinton Bell — on the COVID list, but clearly, it is enough to send them into these enhanced protocols. Even though it may seem like the Falcons are dealing with a significant outbreak, they’re really not, says Arthur Smith.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith slipped in he’s gotten his booster shot for COVID-19.
He’s going into a long explanation of 2020 enhanced NFL COVID protocols vs. 2021 enhanced NFL COVID protocols.
“We feel like we’re in a good spot,” Smith said.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) December 15, 2021
Smith noted the league’s priority on vaccination around the league, so inevitably, the logistics of the responses and everyday life would change. We haven’t seen any further positive tests, which is the most important thing. The Falcons need all of their players on the field to upset the 49ers in what is a must-win game for Atlanta to keep their playoff hopes alive.