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Getty Matthew Stafford looks dejected after a Lions loss to Minnesota.

The Detroit Lions have seen some of their bigger name players end up on the NFL’s coronavirus watch list, and the biggest just came in the form of Matthew Stafford.

Late Saturday, it was revealed the quarterback had been placed on the COVID/Reserve list for the team.

Stafford is the highest profile player to make the list for the Lions in recent days given his position on the team. He also becomes the first quarterback in the league to crack the list in 2020.

ESPN’s Field Yates was first to break the story:

Lions QB Matthew Stafford has been placed on the reserve/COVID list, per source.

— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 1, 2020

Stafford will now join 7 of his teammates in having to wait to be cleared in order to get back into the mix for the team moving forward.

Matthew Stafford Played ‘Best Football’ During 2019

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky went back and watched the tape from early in the 2019 season when Stafford was healthy. What he found was a quarterback that he thinks was playing the best football in the entire league at that point at his position.

Go re-watch the first 8 games for the @Lions last year. Matthew Stafford was the best QB in football.

— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) July 22, 2020

Orlovsky’s take might be shocking to some. Quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and company had great seasons. Stafford was on their level until he suffered a back injury which cost him the second half of the year and a chance at team and personal success.

How good would Stafford have finished? Nobody knows, but it’s clear if the player that was around in the beginning of last season shows up in 2020, the team will benefit in a significant way. Hopefully, he can get healthy in time to do so.

T.J. Hockenson, Kenny Golladay Land on COVID/Reserve List

Wednesday, Detroit placed 5 players on the COVID/reserve list. The biggest names were wideout Kenny Golladay, tight end T.J. Hockenson, cornerback Amani Oruwariye and punter Arryn Siposs. The final player was safety Jalen Elliott.

Not only is John Atkins opting out of the season, but the Lions have also placed Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning both have either tested positive for the virus or been in close contact with an infected person.

— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 29, 2020

The news doesn’t mean that all the players were positive, of course. They may have been in contact with another person who was infected. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Siposs was positive but asymptomatic which means he could theoretically be back sooner.

Detroit will have to monitor these players as well as the rest of their roster to see what happens in the coming days.

Justin Coleman Placed on COVID/Reserve List

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, cornerback Justin Coleman was added to the list on Thursday afternoon. He’s the third key Lions starter that has been sent to the list in the last few days.

The #Lions are placing CB Justin Coleman on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, source said. Coleman is asymptomatic and tested negative Tuesday before a positive test Wednesday.

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 30, 2020

Additionally, the team placed tight end Isaac Nauta on the list as well, bringing their total of player to 7.

After Justin Coleman (who told me via text he is doing OK) and Isaac Nauta ended up on the COVID reserve list, that places seven Lions on the list — which means they've either tested positive for COVID or have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 30, 2020

Previously on Wednesday, the Lions had added 5 players to the list, so early on, they’ve seen plenty of action in terms of the coronavirus. Now, the step is for the team to sit back and wait for everyone to be cleared.

That’s Stafford’s goal now for the Lions, and the team will have to wait and see how quickly he might be able to get cleared to return.

READ NEXT: 2 More Lions Sent to COVID/Reserve List

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Steelers Place WR, RB on COVID-19 List

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels during a game against the New England Patriots in 2018.

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense took a hit on Sunday when the team announced that it has placed wide receiver James Washington and running back Jaylen Samuels on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Washington, a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, blossomed during the second half of the 2019 season, and still hopes to serve as nothing less than the team’s No. 3 receiver this year. He contributed 44 receptions for 735 yards and three touchdowns last season, but he was one of Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated receivers in the NFL during the latter part of last year. Washington has an outside chance at earning the right to be one of the team’s top two wide receivers, though he faces stiff competition in the form of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson, the latter of whom has shown the potential to develop into a No. 1 receiver.

Samuels, a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is expected to compete against Benny Snell Jr., Kerrith Whyte and rookie Anthony McFarland Jr. for the right to serve as the primary backup to RB1 James Conner. Samuels played in 14 games and made four starts last year, amassing 66 carries for 175 yards and one touchdown, while adding 47 receptions for 305 yards and another touchdown.

Steelers Now Have 4 Players on the COVID-19 List

With the addition of Washington and Samuels, the Steelers now have a total of four players on the COVID-19 list—two from the offense and two from the defense.

The defenders are: second-year cornerback Justin Layne, who was added to the COVID-19 list this past Wednesday, and DB Arrion Springs, who went on the list this past Monday.

Layne was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of last year’s draft with the 66th overall selection. He played in ten games as rookie, mostly on special teams, but made more and more of an impression on head coach Mike Tomlin as the season went on.

In fact, during a Steelers Nation Huddle with fans in mid-May, Tomlin offered unsolicited praise of Layne and highlighted the improvement he showed in practice during the course of last year. More notably, still, Tomlin’s praise came in the same breath as the praise afforded to 2019 first-round draft pick Devin Bush, who many NFL observers consider to be a potential breakout player in 2020, along with the aforementioned wide receiver Diontae Johnson.

No Pittsburgh Steelers Players Have Opted-Out

Meanwhile, the Steelers are one of just nine NFL teams that have not yet had a player opt out of the 2020 season, this as compared to the league-leading New England Patriots, who have had eight players opt out, including key performers like linebacker Dont’a Hightower and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon.

Some NFL observers wondered whether cancer survivor James Conner might choose to opt out, but he has already confirmed that he plans to play in 2020.

Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

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