The Detroit Lions placed Pro Bowl receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end T.J. Hockenson, last year’s first-round pick, on the COVID-19/reserve list on Wednesday, a day after the team reported to training camp.
The two starters were among five Detroit players to land on the COVID reserve list along with cornerback Amani Oruwariye, undrafted free-agent defensive back Jalen Elliott and rookie Arryn Siposs, who is competing for the open punting spot.
Being on the reserve list does not mean the players have tested positive for the coronavirus. It means they either tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
Golladay, who led the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions last season, is entering the final year of his contract. Hockenson was taken with the No. 8 overall pick in last year’s draft and ended last season on injured reserve after hurting his right ankle in the fourth quarter against Chicago on Thanksgiving.
Detroit also had a player opt out of the 2020 season on Wednesday as defensive tackle John Atkins, who started six games for the Lions last season and was expected to compete for a reserve role this year, decided to sit out.
Earlier Wednesday, Lions general manager Bob Quinn explained in a Zoom media conference the team’s protocol, including meetings with players and the families of players so they can answer questions about COVID-19. Quinn also said team doctors and trainers would be available for any staff member, player or family member of a staffer or player to answer questions about the virus and protocol.
This was all in the name of trying to keep his team as safe as possible.
“We are not in a bubble. We have a bubble once you walk into the facility, but it goes back to the education,” Quinn said. “That’s the huge thing. I feel comfortable walking into this facility every day because I know everybody around me is going to be tested all the time. What I don’t know is what people are doing when they leave and go home.
“We have to have a lot of trust, we have to have a lot of education and we have to have a lot of mature decision-making when people leave the facility.”