Joey Bosa

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Chargers Place Joey Bosa, Austin Ekeler On COVID-19 List

The Chargers will be forced to place edge rusher Joey Bosa, center Corey Linsley, and running back Austin Ekeler on the COVID-19 list (Twitter link via Daniel Popper of The Athletic). The Bolts will likely add more players to that list later today, which may leave them at less than full strength for Sunday’s game against the Texans. 

Bosa was reported to be unvaccinated earlier this year. So, unless he has received the vaccine in recent weeks, he’ll still be subject to the league’s 2020 protocols and held out of this week’s game. Even under the revised rules, unvaccinated players who test positive must remain in quaratine for a minimum of ten days.

Bosa was briefly placed on the COVID-19 list back in November when he was ID’d as a high-risk close contact. But, after testing negative, he was cleared to face the Steelers in Week 11.

The 26-year-old is in the midst of another sensational season with 43 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and a league-leading six forced fumbles. Needless to say, he’s well on his way to a third straight Pro Bowl selection, which would give him four for his young career. The Chargers have Bosa under contract for years to come, thanks to the five-year, $135MM mega-deal he inked in 2020.

Unfortunately, the Chargers be without Bosa for at least a little while as they work to clinch a playoff berth. At 8-6, the Bolts have a 75% chance of. making the cut, per Five Thirty Eight, plus an outside chance of catching the Chiefs for the divisional crown.

Chargers Move Joey Bosa Off COVID-19 List

SATURDAY: This short Bosa saga does not look like it will result in him missing any time. The Chargers activated him off the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. However, Tillery will miss Week 11’s Steelers tilt, as he remains on the Bolts’ COVID list. Los Angeles also moved linebacker Drue Tranquill from the virus list to the active roster.

WEDNESDAY: Bosa still has a chance to play Sunday. The standout pass rusher did not test positive for the virus but qualifies as a high-risk close contact, Brandon Staley said (via NFL.com’s Taylor Bisciotti, on Twitter). This means Bosa is unvaccinated. He must be away from the team for a five-day period. But since Bosa did not test positive, he would be eligible to return Sunday night and play without practicing this week.

TUESDAY: The Chargers may well be without their best pass rusher Sunday night. Joey Bosa is now on the Bolts’ reserve/COVID-19 list, with Field Yates of ESPN.com adding (via Twitter) defensive tackle Jerry Tillery joins Bosa in that regard.

Unless Bosa is unvaccinated and qualifies as a high-risk close contact, which would allow for a return after five days, he faces an uphill battle to play against the Steelers in Week 11. Although vaccinated players who test positive can return with negative tests two days apart, returning to play in the same week of a positive test has not been a common occurrence this season. If unvaccinated, Bosa testing positive would sideline him for at least 10 days.

Having battled injury issues in the past, Bosa has not missed any time this season. The highly paid edge defender leads the Chargers with 5.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits. Tillery’s 2.5 sacks from his defensive line spot is second among Chargers this season. The former first-round pick has been a starter for the past two seasons.

Bosa and Tillery join Minkah Fitzpatrick in having landed on the COVID list this week. Ben Roethlisberger is also uncertain to play in Week 11, having experienced symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus Saturday. Mike Tomlin has said Big Ben would play if cleared, regardless of his practice time this week, but it is not certain the 18th-year quarterback will be cleared in time. As such, Sunday night’s game could be missing a few star players due to the virus.

Chargers Sign Joey Bosa To Five-Year, $135MM Deal

It’s officially official. On Tuesday night, the Chargers announced their brand new deal with Joey Bosa to keep him under contract for the next six seasons. The five-year add-on will pay the defensive end $135MM, including $78MM guaranteed at signing and $102MM in overall guarantees, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. 

Bosa’s deal is an absolute record smasher. His full guarantees and overall guarantees are the highest of any defensive player in NFL history. On the whole, it’s the largest contract the Chargers have ever given to a player in the history of their franchise. Before the Bosa extension, no Chargers player had reached $100MM.

It’s even more of a jaw-dropper when considering the current economic climate and the possibility of a sharply reduced cap in 2021. Still, as GM Tom Telesco has pointed out, the Chargers have more flexibility for next year’s books than most teams. The deal is an outlier for this offseason, but not an anomaly. Just a couple weeks ago, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett signed five-year, $125MM deal with $100MM in total guarantees.

Bosa’s deal has leapfrogged Garrett, Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack, and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald in every category. Previously, Mack was the financial kingpin of the defensive end group with Mack $23.5MM per year, followed by DeMarcus Lawrence of the Cowboys ($21MM/year) and Frank Clark of the Chiefs ($20.8MM/year).

In his first two pro seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. In 2019, Bosa missed the bulk of the season with a bone bruise, but still managed 5.5 sacks and 23 tackles in seven games. Last year, he turned in a complete 16-game season, and he met every lofty expectation – 11.5 sacks, 67 stops, and a forced fumble en route to his second career Pro Bowl nod.

Extra Points: Packers, Jets, Chargers, Lions

The Packers have a huge season ahead of them. After an outstanding run of success, things got stale in Green Bay under Mike McCarthy, which resulted in his firing. The team desperately needs a boost of energy, and they’re hoping they found it in new coach Matt LaFleur. The 39-year-old is apparently wasting no time taking charge in his first offseason at the helm, as Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes that the young coach is “taking on an enormous load” during OTAs. Dougherty says that LaFleur is hovering around the quarterbacks and coaching them up at every opportunity, which he describes as a notable departure from McCarthy, who left that up to his quarterbacks coach.

LaFleur is apparently sitting in on all the quarterbacks meetings, and Aaron Rodgers importantly is happy with the way he’s being coached up. Dougherty writes that Rodgers “appears to be embracing” LaFleur’s hands-on approach. That’s surely music to the ears of Packers fans, but Dougherty does caution that there’s some level of concern about everything he’s putting on his own plate and how much his devotion to the quarterbacks “will take away from LaFleur’s panoramic view of the team once camp and the season start.” That being said, a reinvigorated Rodgers is by far the most important thing to the team right now, so it certainly doesn’t sound like a bad thing.

Here’s more from around the league on a quiet holiday weekend:

  • The Jets have had a drama-filled offseason, to say the least. Immediately after Mike Maccagnan was fired, reports began trickling out that Adam Gase didn’t want either of the Jets’ pricey free agent acquisitions, running back Le’Veon Bell and linebacker C.J. Mosley. While the reports that Gase didn’t want the team to sign Bell have more or less been confirmed, it’s apparently not true that he didn’t want Mosley, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Cimini writes that Gase “was a strong proponent of signing Mosley,” and notes that Gase and Mosley even share the same agent, Jimmy Sexton. It sounds like the Jets have one less headache to worry about.
  • Chargers pass-rusher Joey Bosa has been a star ever since he entered the league. As a rookie he had 10.5 sacks despite missing the first four games of the season due to a contract holdout, and he’s been dominant off the edge ever since. But the Ohio State product was hobbled by a foot injury that cost him the nine games of last season, and he wasn’t quite the same after he returned. Speaking to the media recently after practice, Bosa conceded that the injury is still bothering him. “It’s just there. It’s just something I notice. It’s been getting better all offseason, so I could definitely see by camp or maybe even next year where it kind of starts fading away,” Bosa said, per Adam Maya of NFL.com. Foot injuries can be tricky, so it’s somewhat alarming that Bosa is still feeling soreness in his foot after this long, but Maya notes he did say it’s feeling “well enough for him to avoid a Lisfranc-type surgery.” This will be a situation to monitor this offseason.
  • Rookie tight ends often don’t play much right away. Tight end is widely regarded as the position that’s hardest to transition to from college to the pros, other than quarterback, and many take time to develop even if they’re drafted highly. It sounds like Lions rookie T.J. Hockenson could be an exception to that rule. Hockenson has looked good during OTAs, according to Tim Twentyman of the team’s official site, who notes that Detroit isn’t going to treat him with kid gloves, writing Hockenson will “see the field early and often.” The Lions got virtually nothing from their tight ends last season so they made it a priority to upgrade this offseason, signing Jesse James and drafting Hockenson eighth overall. It sounds like Hockenson is in line to start in his first season.

Chargers Exercise Joey Bosa’s Option

This is the definition of a no-brainer. The Chargers have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive end Joey Bosa, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

[RELATED: 2020 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. Last year, Bosa missed the bulk of the season with a bone bruise, but still managed 5.5 sacks and 23 tackles in seven games.

It took a while for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 draft to put pen to paper, but he has blossomed into one of the league’s most terrifying edge rushers. He also serves as the signal caller of the Bolts’ defense. Simply put, Bosa is indispensable.

In 2020, Bosa will earn $14.360MM. After that, the Chargers will have to give Bosa a long-term deal at the top of the market or use the pricey franchise tag to stall. The Bolts, in theory, could use three consecutive franchise tags on Bosa, but it seems unlikely that he’d cooperate with a second tag and, even if he were willing to go with the flow, a third tag would be wildly expensive (assuming the tag system remains in place under the next collective bargaining agreement).

Speaking of the Bosa family, it sounds like Nick Bosa is a real possibility for the Cardinals at No. 1 overall. Even if Arizona passes on Bosa with the top choice, it’s unlikely that he’ll last long on Thursday.

Joey Bosa To Return Today

It appears that Chargers star defensive end Joey Bosa will finally make his 2018 debut. Bosa has been dealing with a bone bruise all season long, but after returning to the practice field earlier this week, the third-year pro will finally see game action as the Bolts host the division rival Broncos this afternoon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that his source would be “shocked” if Bosa does not play today (Twitter link).

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears the same thing, and he tweets that the number of snaps Bosa receives today will of course depend on how he feels. But Schefter noted that Bosa was part of the Chargers’ regular defensive rotation during practice, so he may even see close to a full workload.

In any event, Bosa’s return should be a huge boost to the 7-2 Chargers, who are still in the race for the AFC West title and who are certainly in the driver’s seat for a wildcard spot if nothing else. It is also particularly timely in light of the fact that Los Angeles just lost starting linebacker Denzel Perryman for the rest of the season.

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. The Bolts have the former No. 3 overall pick under contract through 2019 and will control him through at least 2020 via the fifth year option. He earned Pro Bowl honors last season and will further aid a pass rush that has still been pretty productive in his absence. The Chargers’ pass defense is the eighth-best in the league, per Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics, and the team has compiled 26 sacks, which is the 10th-highest total in the league.

Chargers’ Joey Bosa Returns To Practice

Joey Bosa could be nearing a return to the field. The star linebacker joined the Chargers for practice on Wednesday, albeit in a limited capacity. Bosa still may need time time to get in football shape, but it’s a positive development. 

[RELATED: Chargers’ Denzel Perryman Done For Year]

Bosa, 23, has been sidelined with a bone bruise all year long. Initially, doctors were hopeful that he would be able to suit up for Week 9, but the injury took longer than expected to heal.

The Chargers ranked third against the pass last season thanks in large part to Bosa, but they’ve somehow managed to stay afloat without him. The Bolts are 7-2 with their only losses coming against the Rams and Chiefs, two of the very best teams in the NFL.

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. The Bolts have the former No. 3 overall pick under contract through 2019 and will control him through at least 2020 via the fifth year option.

AFC Notes: Gordon, Melvin, Marshall, Bosa

Josh Gordon has run afoul with a new team. The Patriots plan to discipline the oft-embattled wide receiver during tonight’s Bills game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter), with tardiness at the root of the trade acquisition’s latest issue. New England will play without Gordon for a period of time tonight, around a quarter or “several series,” per Rapoport. Gordon showed up late to the Patriots’ facility on Sunday before the team left for Buffalo, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. After Gordon rides the bench to start the game, Rapoport adds he’ll return to his normal workload tonight. This benching is part of the team’s effort to manage and work with the 27-year-old wideout, one who had rampant trouble in Cleveland on this and other off-field fronts. If Gordon was on a low-tolerance policy with the Patriots, this doesn’t help his cause.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on trade deadline eve:

  • Bruce Irvin and Karl Joseph are believed to be on the trade block during the Raiders‘ rebuild, and, perhaps unsurprisingly based on the way his season’s gone, so is cornerback Rashaan Melvin. The recently signed corner was a healthy scratch against the Colts on Sunday, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link) Melvin is available for a trade. Melvin signed a one-year, $5.5MM deal but drew Jon Gruden‘s public scrutiny after complaining about his role on the Raiders and the coaching staff’s style earlier this season. Melvin, 29, was a well-regarded Colts starter at this point last season and almost certainly will not be part of the 2019 Raiders.
  • Broncos plans to trade Brandon Marshall, if that was ever the case, look to have hit a snag. The longtime Denver starting linebacker now has a bone bruise in one of his knees and will likely miss time because of it, Denver7’s Troy Renck tweets. Marshall, whose contract makes him far from a lock he’ll be on next year’s Broncos, surfaced in trade rumors over the weekend. One of the handful of Denver starting defenders left over from Super Bowl 50, Marshall has been a full-time starter since 2014. He signed an extension in 2016, but that deal includes a $9MM cap number next year. Rookie Josey Jewell has played well in part-time duty as well, and the Broncos could get an early look at the fifth-round pick as a starter if Marshall is forced to miss time.
  • Joey Bosa could make his season debut on Sunday. At least, the Chargers haven’t ruled it out. Anthony Lynn said it was possible Bosa plays in Week 9, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com. Lynn said Bosa was getting closer. He’s missed seven Bolts games this season because of a bruised left foot, an injury he aggravated before Week 1. Lynn added he’s not ruling Melvin Gordon out, either.
  • The Texans followed through with their scheduled Brice Butler workout on Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. In addition, Houston auditioned quarterback Brogan Roback, cornerback Craig Mager and wide receivers Amba Etta-Tawo and Steven Mitchell.