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Getty Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

Both defensive tackle Tyeler Davidson and backup quarterback Danny Etling were added to the Atlanta Falcons‘ reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, the team announced. The Falcons now have a total of five players on the list.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that either player has tested positive for the coronavirus, it could mean they were in close contact with someone who has or they are experiencing symptoms.

Tyeler Davison the most significant name to hit the Covid-19 list for the Falcons as important run-stuffer along the defensive line. Others on the list are QB Danny Etling, FB Keith Smith, S Jamal Carter, rookie S Jaylinn Hawkins. Team can’t comment on the status of the players.

— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 31, 2020

While we are uncertain as to whether or not Davidson and Etling have the virus, it was confirmed that Falcons fullback Keith Smith and safety Jamal Carter both tested positive for the coronavirus. Smith has not experienced any symptoms.

Falcons fullback Keith Smith, like safety Jamal Carter, has tested positive for COVID-19. I’m told Smith is asymptomatic. Falcons put Smith, Carter on reserve/COVID-19 list along with rookie Jaylinn Hawkins, who was put on yesterday.

— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 29, 2020

The fifth player, rookie safety Jaylinn Hawkins, is also on the list but we are unsure of his status at the moment.

Also, follow the Heavy on Falcons Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!

What Happens Now?

When a player tests positive and is showing symptoms, at least 10 days must pass since the symptoms first occurred and at least 72 hours must have passed since symptoms last occurred.

Unfortunately, This could very well mean that such a player will miss at least two games at the start of the season.

If a player tests positive but is showing zero symptoms, he can return either 10 days after the positive test or in just five days if the player tests negative twice.

Daily testing could be a huge problem heading into and during the season but the NFL is set on making it to the Super Bowl.

Falcons Are Doing Their Best to Keep Players Safe

Each team is on their own when it comes to setting up safety protocols for their team. While some players have ended up on the list, the majority has not.

The Falcons are going above and beyond keeping players safe. Falcons QB1 Matt Ryan weighed in on what the Falcons have done so far.

“We’re lucky that we’ve got a lot of space and a massive setup,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told Pro Football Talk. “For us to be able to kind of space out and make sure we are up to code on all of the protocols, we have these kind of townhomes that we stay in during training camp that are built right behind our facility, which we’re able to use as our locker room right now. We each have our own individual bathroom and bed and changing area, and all that kind of stuff.

“We’re uniquely built to kind of handle this, and our staff here has done an amazing job of trying to make it safe as possible for everybody and appreciate them doing that.”

Players are tested daily and the NFL is still working on creating a mask that players can play in.

Why the NBA Bubble Won’t Work in the NFL

The NBA has hardly had any players test positive for COVID since they’ve resumed. This is because they spent months developing a safe strategy for players and staff to return.

The NBA bubble is located in Orlando where all players are practically shut off from the rest of the world. The NFL has been told to follow in their footsteps after several players have tested positive for the virus. The problem is the size of the NFL.

Each NFL team would need to house hundreds of employees including players, coaches, medical officials, and other staffers. This would be all day, every day for at least five months.

Oh, and you can’t forget about the game officials and media coverage each week.

There really isn’t a city big enough but teams can still form their own kind of bubble like Atlanta is doing right now.

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A star-studded list of NFL players looking for 2020 rebound

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Von Miller is determined to show 2019 was an oddity, not an omen.

Miller’s performance last season was nothing to scoff at considering he had eight sacks and made his eighth Pro Bowl. But his five-year run as an All-Pro first- or second-team selection came to an end and the Denver Broncos’ playoff drought persisted.

“I didn’t play to the ‘Sack Master’s’ standards,” Miller said. “My coaches felt like there was more for me to give. Most of all, I feel like I can give more and I can be more. I don’t feel like I’m finished yet.”

Neither does Tom Brady nor JuJu Smith-Schuster or Baker Mayfield, among the other big names looking for big bounce-backs in 2020.

Miller, the biggest NFL star to contract COVID-19, made the most of his home gym after recovering from the virus, hitting the weights hard and sharing videos and photos of his bulging muscles and extreme workouts on social media.

“I didn’t take any days off, I didn’t go on any vacations and I didn’t do anything but work out,” Miller said.

It shows.

But it isn’t just his buffed body that’s turning heads at team headquarters. Coaches and teammates also see a more serious, cerebral Miller.

“I do sense that he’s got a hunger to his game and to his attitude that I don’t think he’s had the last few years,” coach Vic Fangio said.

“We do sprints and he’s always out front,” safety Justin Simmons said.

“He’s been the most motivated I’ve seen,” linebacker Bradley Chubb agreed. “He’s going to have a monster year.”

Miller said he realized he wasn’t tapping his full leadership potential when he read “The Mamba Mentality” following Kobe Bryant’s death and again when he watched the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance.”

“It’s never too late to change,” Miller said. “I might be 31 years old and in Year 10, but it’s never too late to change. I’ve identified the leader that I was before wasn’t getting it done. … I have to change. I have to be like those guys.”

Joining Miller on a comeback campaign in Denver this season is Chubb, Miller’s pass-rushing partner who blew out a knee in September.

Chubb expects to be ready to go on opening night Sept. 14.

“I’m easing back into practice and getting my flow back to where it was,” Chubb said. “I feel like I’ll be good for Week 1, for sure.”


Like Miller, Brady put up decent numbers in 2019, but he sputtered down the stretch along with the rest of the Patriots, who followed their 8-0 start with a 4-5 finish, capped by their home loss to Tennessee in the playoffs. That was Brady’s farewell to New England after two decades and six rings. Grownkowski came out of retirement to join Brady in Tampa, where the Bucs are sure they’ll end their 12-year playoff drought.


Smith-Schuster paid the price after Roesthlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2. After catching 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven TDs in 2018, Smith had 42 catches for 552 yards and three TDs. Big Ben is back and so is James Washington (16.7 yards per catch). Pittsburgh also drafted Notre Dame’s big receiver Chase Claypool. That should open things up for Schuster underneath to return to his 2018 form.


Like Schuster, Hilton was adversely affected by injuries and spotty quarterback play last year when he set career lows with 45 receptions for 501 yards. Now he has Rivers throwing to him. Rivers was intercepted a whopping 20 times last year in L.A. to go with his 23 TD tosses. That followed an effective two-year stretch in which Rivers averaged 30 touchdown throws and 11 interceptions.


Mayfield followed a 27-TD rookie season with a step back under Freddie Kitchens, and Beckham was never himself as he played through a sports hernia. Beckham is healthy again following offseason surgery and seems a better fit in new coach Kevin Stefanski’s play-action system, which also should help settle Mayfield, who had 21 interceptions in 2019 to go with 22 touchdown passes.


The league’s highest-paid defender followed his smashing debut season in Chicago with a rather pedestrian 2019 that saw him tally 8½ sacks, his fewest since his rookie season in 2014. Although he had the same number of tackles — 47 — as he did in 2018, Mack’s 14 QB hits ranked 46th in the NFL and his eight tackles for loss ranked 61st, numbers not befitting his $141 million contract.


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