It’s the sort of news that both Super Bowl contenders were hoping to avoid this week. Unfortunately, the Kansas City Chiefs have placed wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore on the NFL’s COVID/reserve list, per NFL reporter Ian Rapoport.
Fortunately, Rapoport’s post makes it clear that there’s still a way back for either player to potentially be available to play in the big game, but the greater issue here is what this represents for the Chiefs: a leak in the system somewhere.
It’s frustrating that despite every measure or protocol that a team or the league has put into place, COVID-19 can still break through somehow due to some casual slip or mindless error that might seem minuscule at the time. Nothing is known as of yet, so conjecture doesn’t help anyone at all, but obviously something was missed in a process somewhere, which casts a shadow over the rest of the week for the Chiefs.
The NFL was able to play every single regular season game and postseason game this season despite myriad breakouts of the coronavirus on teams like the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens. Some games were postponed, rescheduled, and shifted around to make things work, but the league did an admirable job pulling off a complete season in the face of a global pandemic. However, the Super Bowl is booked and scheduled and it’s hard to see how the league could remotely push it back to accommodate a potential outbreak.
Both Robinson and Kilgore are on the COVID-19 list for the Chiefs.
For now, the Chiefs only have two known players affected and those are lesser-used players, especially in Kilgore’s case. He was once promoted to the starting lineup over center Austin Reiter in an attempt to upgrade the position, but Reiter earned back his starting role for the rest of the season. In Robinson’s case, he’s a moderately used target on offense who had 45 receptions for 466 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in 2020.