The Washington Football Team announced that defensive tackle Daron Payne is the latest to be placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The 24-year-old becomes the seventh player -- and third this weekend -- to be put on the list joining Brandon Scherff and reserve tackle David Sharpe.
As Washington continues to see players go on the list, head coach Ron Rivera issued a warning to his team this week. Rivera explained to his team that if the players were placed on it just before their regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers they would miss the first two games.
"Those guys would not be eligible, so, to me, it brings the reality of what the rules are," Rivera said, "And I hope it helps. But these young men have to make their decisions."
ESPN reports that the team ranks near the bottom in terms of vaccination as it recently crossed 70% of players having at least one shot. Washington was off on Sunday after completing its first week of training camp in Richmond and is scheduled to return to the practice field at home in Ashburn on Monday morning. The preseason opener is Aug. 12 at the New England Patriots.
With Payne and others missing practice time, Rivera had noted earlier that it is harder for the coaching staff to evaluate and prepare the team for games when players are placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
"That's part of the problem, to be very honest," Rivera said in Richmond. "That's going to make things difficult, and that's the thing we have to be aware of. It'll make it difficult in terms of everybody working together, difficult on us as coaches with our evaluations and scouts, and it'll be difficult on the player because having time off, not really getting an opportunity to work and develop and grow and learning. That's the downfall and that's the downside."
Payne would take to Twitter to state that he's not positive for COVID-19.