Carolina Panthers broke NFL COVID-19 protocols prior to outbreak of the virus

Carolina Panthers: COVID-19, Curtis Samuel
May 5, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) catches a pass during practice at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers placed eight players on the COVID-19 list earlier this week. Coming off their bye week, those listed on the reserve list include wide receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel.

We now have more information on this, and it’s not great news for the Carolina Panthers and the rest of the NFL.

Carolina Panthers broke NFL COVID-19 protocols, leading to outbreak

A related report by NFL Media points to a potential fine and loss of draft picks for the Carolina Panthers. Specifically, it linked this situation to the Las Vegas Raiders being fined $500,000 and docked a 2021 NFL Draft pick for a previous violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

Heading into Week 14 of the NFL season, the league has struggled with its COVID-19 protocols. Multiple games have had to be postponed. Meanwhile, some executives around the league are worried about competitive balance issues.

Related: NFL Week 14 schedule, predictions

Most recently, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant tested positive for COVID-19 mere minutes before his team’s game against the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday. Bryant ended up being a late scratch and has since opted to end his season.

Will the Carolina Panthers be disciplined for violating the NFL COVID-19 protocols?

There’s obviously going to be a league-mandated investigation into the situation. But at this point it seems highly likely. The NFL is enforcing its policies at a never-ending loop with time running out to postpone games without adding a Week 18 to the schedule.

That’s a major backdrop here given an eighth playoff team would have to be added in each conference with Super Bowl LV potentially being pushed back from February 7th if a Week 18 were to take place.

Carolina Panthers players on COVID-19 list

Carolina Panthers: COVD-19, Curtis Samuel
Dec 15, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) runs for yardage against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
  • D.J. Moore, wide receiver
  • Curtis Samuel, wide receiver
  • Derrick Brown, defensive tackle
  • Zach Kerr, defensive tackle
  • Shaq Thompson, linebacker
  • Greg Little, offensive tackle
  • Michael Palardy, punter
  • Ishmael Hyman, wide receiver

Coming off their Week 13 bye, the Carolina Panthers are slated to take on the Denver Broncos on the road Sunday afternoon. Christian McCaffrey is expected back for a team that has lost six of seven. It remains to be seen if any of the eight players on Carolina’s COVID-19 list will be available.

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