Today, the Jaguars announced that three starters, outside linebacker/defensive end Josh Allen, wide receiver Laviska Shenault and guard Ben Bartch have been placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
The @Jaguars have placed DE/OLB Josh Allen, WR Laviska Shenault Jr. and OL Ben Bartch on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced today.— JaguarsPR (@JaguarsPR) December 24, 2021
All three starters have been ruled out for Sunday’s contest against the New York Jets and will not travel with the team.
Allen will be out for a minimum of 10 days due to being unvaccinated. The Jaguars are the latest team to feel the impact of the surge of positive test results that have seen countless players end up on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Jets are dealing with a host of COVID-19 issues themselves, including having placed head coach Robert Saleh on the list, making assistant coach Ron Middleton the person in charge of the franchise on Sunday. A total of 21 players and personnel are currently on the Jets’ reserve/COVID-19 list.
For Allen, Bartch and Shenault, they’ll need to be replaced on Sunday. It is likely that backup guard Will Richardson will take Bartch’s place in the lineup, while Jaydon Mickens could see more snaps as a result of Shenault’s absence. With Allen out for the first time this season, the Jaguars could see rookie OLB/DL Jordan Smith active for the first time this year.
Last week, Allen was asked about not having missed any games thus far this season despite being unvaccinated.
“[Even]If I was vaccinated, I will [still] always take care of myself,” said Allen. “I have a young family at home, so I try to not only protect myself but protect them as well. [We have a] Newborn at the house and we had a scary situation at my house so definitely put me on extra precaution.
“For me, I come to work and wear my mask and made the decision for myself and my family so now I have to stick with it. Thankfully, didn’t have to miss a game due to that and just continue to stay safe and continue to do my job and do my part. A lot of my teammates also know so they are all aware what’s good to do and what’s not good to do so [I’m] thankful for those guys.”
For Allen, and many others around the league, it was almost inevitable to find themselves placed on the list, almost no matter the precautions each individual has taken throughout the league.