The Las Vegas Raiders placed four starting offensive linemen and safety Johnathan Abram on the reserve/COVID-19 list after they were determined to be close contacts with a teammate who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two people familiar with the moves Thursday confirmed that Abram, Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson were all placed on the list because of high-risk contact with right tackle Trent Brown. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the moves haven’t been announced. NFL Network first reported the players going on the COVID-19 list.

Those five players had close contact with Brown, who was placed on the COVID-19 list Wednesday following a positive test for the virus. If those players remain asymptomatic, they must wait five days from their last contact with Brown on Monday and test negative each day before they will be allowed to return.

That gives them enough time to return to play on Sunday against Tampa Bay if they don’t test positive or develop symptoms before then. The league moved the game from Sunday night into the afternoon window out of an “abundance of caution” to make sure a game would be available for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” The Seattle-Arizona game was moved into the prime-time slot.

The league and union are also investigating how the Raiders have handled the coronavirus protocols. One person said on condition of anonymity, because the results of the investigation haven’t been made public, that Brown was not consistently wearing his tracker, which is used to help determine close contacts.

The team also was supposed to be in the league’s “intensive” protocol on Monday after cornerback Damon Arnette was placed on the COVID-19 list, which requires proper distancing and mask wearing at practice. The person said video shows the starting offensive linemen were not following the protocols.

So for now, the Raiders are preparing for the game with backup linemen Patrick Omameh, John Simpson, Andre James, Brandon Parker and Sam Young, as well as practice squad players Jaryd Jones-Smith, Erik Magnuson and Kamaal Seymour.

RAVENS: Baltimore acquired defensive end Yannick Ngakoue for draft picks in a trade with Minnesota, less than two months after the Vikings acquired the fifth-year pass rusher from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ngakoue is tied for fourth in the NFL with five sacks in six games, including two forced fumbles, but the Vikings entered their bye week with a 1-5 record and thus more incentive to focus on the future. The Vikings didn’t disclose specifics of the acquired draft selections. ESPN reported that the Ravens will send a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick.

“This was an opportunity that I felt would accomplish both the short and long term as we move forward, but these decisions aren’t easy to make,” Vikings GM Rick Spielman said.

Baltimore also plans to add wide receiver Dez Bryant to its practice squad, even though the eight-year NFL veteran hasn’t taken a snap since the 2017 regular season. Bryant must go through a workout and pass a physical before signing, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported. He worked out with the Ravens during training camp in August but didn’t sign with the team.

Bryant, who turns 32 on Nov. 4, played his first eight NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, who cut him in April 2018. Midway through the regular season that followed, Bryant signed with the New Orleans Saints but tore his Achilles’ tendon during practice just two days later and hasn’t played since, though he has said he would like to resume his career.

Only the New York Jets have averaged fewer passing yards per game this season than the Ravens. Bryant led the NFL in receiving yards in 2012, in touchdown catches in 2014 and average yards per reception in 2016.

GIANTS: Sterling Shepard was activated from injured reserve, shore up the receiving group for Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Shepard missed four games because of turf toe. He had eight receptions for 76 yards in the first two games.

BILL MATHIS, a versatile running back and an original member of the New York Jets franchise, has died. He was 81.

The team announced Mathis’ death Tuesday on Wednesday night. There was no cause of death given, but the team said Mathis had long been dealing with several health issues.

Mathis played his entire career in New York, joining the then-Titans in 1960 and helping the Jets win the Super Bowl in 1969 before retiring after the following season. He was the franchise’s first team MVP in 1961 and was selected an AFL All-Star in 1961 and ’63. Mathis rushed for 3,589 yards and 37 touchdowns in 10 seasons, and caught 149 passes for 1,775 yards and nine scores.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.