The Cincinnati Bengals got a bit of a scare Monday with news that QB Brandon Allen was being placed on the NFL’s COVID-19 list.
While the most important thing is Allen’s health, there’s also reason to wonder if Joe Burrow will be affected since they’re in the same position group, and if it could sideline him for a massive Week 17 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, head coach Zac Taylor isn’t concerned about any potential issues involving Burrow and the virus, at least based on the comments made during his Monday press conference. A big reason why is the NFL recently adjusted its COVID-19 policy, which now allows vaccinated players like Burrow to avoid testing unless he shows symptoms of the virus.
Taylor adds that Burrow will not have to test. This is a part of the new protocols.— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) December 27, 2021
The Bengals are already without one of their most indispensable players due to COVID-19, as defensive tackle D.J. Reader was placed on the list last Saturday and didn’t play Sunday.
Taylor isn’t quite as sure on Reader’s status heading into Week 17.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor said getting DT DJ Reader back will depend on getting negatives COVID-19. Obviously, an unknown timetable.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) December 27, 2021
Even without Reader, the Bengals were able to limit the Baltimore Ravens to just 39 rushing yards and one score on 16 carries. But this defense desperately needs Reader back to help slow down a surging Chiefs offense that’s averaging 39.3 points over the last three games.
One key defender almost certain to miss this week is linebacker Logan Wilson, who is still out with a shoulder injury and hasn’t played since Week 13. Taylor made it clear that Wilson will likely miss another game this week, so you have to wonder when we’ll see the second-year backer again.
Zac Taylor says it's "very doubtful" linebacker Logan Wilson will play this week.— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) December 27, 2021
With Wilson likely out, the Bengals have announced the signing of linebacker Austin Calitro off the practice squad to the active roster. Calitro has played in three games this season as a practice squad elevation. He has one tackle on special teams.