Star safety Tyrann Mathieu and the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs received some bad news on Wednesday.
According to multiple media reports, Honey Badger has tested positive for COVID-19 and is going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. This information came via the NFL’s daily transaction wire.
NFL protocols indicate that an unvaccinated player who tests positive for the virus has to quarantine for 10 days before rejoining his team. The Kansas City Chiefs’ regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns comes in 11 days. It’s a different situation for fully-vaccinated players.
“Vaccinated players or staff who test positive and are asymptomatic can return to duty after two negative tests 24 hours apart. For non-vaccinated persons who test positive, the 2020 protocols remain in place, requiring a 10-day isolation,” NFL Media’s Kevin Petra noted regarding NFL COVID-19 protocols.
It’s not yet known whether Tyrann Mathieu is vaccinated from the virus. He spoke about it being a personal choice back in April, noting that he planned on getting his shots at some point soon.
“I have not gotten my vaccination yet,” the All-Pro safety said during the spring. “I’m hoping to get it soon, but it’s a choice for everybody.”
One of the best safeties in the game, Mathieu as earned All-Pro honors in each of his first two seasons with the Chiefs — helping them to the Super Bowl each year. During this span, the LSU product has recorded 21 passes defended and 10 interceptions.
Obviously, it would hurt Kansas City’s chances Week 1 against Baker Mayfield and the high-flying Cleveland Browns if Honey Badger were forced to sit out.