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Baltimore Ravens

Ravens place safety Chuck Clark on reserve/COVID-19 list, further depleting banged-up secondary

Ravens starting safety Chuck Clark has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Thursday, dealing another blow to a secondary that is already without three starters.

With teams like the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams dealing with outbreaks, the NFL has enhanced its COVID-19 protocols. Starting Thursday, all 32 teams will have to wears masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, hold remote or outdoor meetings, stop in-person meals and prohibit outside visitors while on team travel. Weight rooms will also be limited to 15 people, all public appearances scheduled for players, coaches and front office staffers will be canceled and social gatherings larger than groups of three will be prohibited.

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Clark’s status for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers is unknown, but the league’s new protocols make it easier for players who are vaccinated and asymptomatic to return to practice and games. Under the updated rules, a vaccinated player who tests positive and is asymptomatic can return with two negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests both taken as soon as the next day; a negative PCR test and a negative rapid test taken as soon as the next day; or two negative rapid tests taken as soon as the next day.

Previously, an vaccinated individual that tested positive for COVID-19 had to produce two negative tests 24 hours apart before being cleared to return.

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Meanwhile, unvaccinated individuals will still be tested daily and have to stay away from the team facility for at least 10 days before they can be cleared to return after a positive test.

“Throughout the pandemic we have continuously evolved our protocols to meet our goal of advancing the safety of the players, coaches and staff,” the league said Thursday in a statement. “The changes we are making today aim to address the increase in cases and the advent of the Omicron variant. ... We will continue to strongly encourage booster shots as the most effective protection.”

Rookie running back Nate McCrary, a member of the practice squad, also joins Clark and backup center Tyrstan Colon on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

If Clark cannot play, the Ravens will be without their entire starting secondary, as Marlon Humphrey (torn pectoral muscle), Marcus Peters (torn ACL) and DeShon Elliott (torn biceps/pectoral muscle) are out for the season.

Clark, who relays the defensive play calls, has only missed one game in his five-year NFL career, making 41 straight starts since 2019. He is third on the team with 58 tackles while recording one sack and eight pass breakups.


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