Odell Beckham Jr. among activated Rams players on COVID-19 list, but two more make it

The Rams had only had a coronavirus outbreak for a few days when coach Sean McVay described the situation as “mind blowing.”

He then saw the number of Rams players placed on the NFL’s reserve / COVID-19 list grow from five to nearly 30.

“It’s very bad,” he said Saturday when asked to assess what had happened in four days. “I do not know. It’s almost hard to believe. “

The NFL provided the Rams with relief Friday when the league moved its game against the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium from Sunday to Tuesday.

The Rams received more positive news as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., running back Darrell Henderson, cornerback Donte Deayon, linebacker Justin Hollins, tight end Brycen Hopkins and offensive lineman Alaric Jackson were pulled off the roster and activated. to the roster of healthy players.

But offensive lineman Joe Noteboom and cornerback Robert Rochell were added to a roster that still includes star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, star linebacker Von Miller, starting safety Jordan Fuller and starting right tackle Rob Havenstein. More players are expected to activate before the Rams (9-4) play the Seahawks (5-8).

Two days after announcing adjusted protocols that facilitate the return to the roster of fully vaccinated and asymptomatic players, the NFL on Saturday issued revised protocols requiring that only non-immunized players and those experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms be tested. . Higher risk athletes can opt out by sending a written notice to the league before Monday. Athletes will not be paid, and the notification is irrevocable.

“Medical information strongly indicates that this omicron variant of the coronavirus is significantly more contagious but possibly less severe than previous strains, particularly for people who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose,” said NFL Commissioner Roger. Goodell, in a memo sent to teams. “Our experience with the omicron variant is fully consistent with this expectation. … In many respects, that strain appears to be a very different disease than the one we first faced in the spring of 2020. ”

The Rams are one of seven teams operating under enhanced COVID-19 protocols, which mandate that meetings be held virtually. They returned to the field Saturday for the first time since Monday night’s game, going through what McVay described as modified practice that did not include an open session for reporters.

The Rams have activated players from the practice squad – which may include 16 – to fortify the roster. Teams can have 53 athletes, with 48 active for matches.

In his 13th season, quarterback Matthew Stafford has seen it all. But that was before the coronavirus took its toll on the Rams roster.

“It’s crazy,” Stafford said during a video conference.

Stafford was five days away from leading the Rams to a 30-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. At the time, five colleagues were on the reserve / COVID-19 list. The number almost multiplied by six in the next four days.

“It was different,” Stafford declared, “without a doubt.”

Defensive lineman Greg Gaines said he was surprised when he arrived at the team’s Thousand Oaks facility Tuesday after the game. He pointed out that the guard at the entrance gate told him that the sports car was closed.

“I thought the apocalypse was happening or something like that,” Gaines said during a video conference, adding, “It was crazy.”

Players have been stressed by the prospect of testing positive, Gaines said.

“Every day you go into the test, it’s like, ‘Please don’t be me.’

McVay declined to say whether he or any coach tested positive. He stated that he will make that information public on Monday, and that he did not know where the outbreak started or how it spread.

“It’s kind of an endless journey where you try to figure that out. So it’s hard to really figure out where this thing started. “

Regardless of the composition of the roster Tuesday, McVay, Stafford and Gaines declared that the Rams would be ready for the Seahawks.

“I feel good about where we are,” Stafford finished, “and where we are going.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Odell Beckham Jr. among activated Rams players on COVID-19 list, but two more make it