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Dante Fowler added to Falcons reserve/COVID-19 list

He becomes the fifth player to hit the list right as camp opens.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons are rolling into training camp practices tomorrow, and they’ll do so without five players on the 90 man roster. Dante Fowler becomes the latest addition to the reserve/COVID-19 list, and given that he’s a player the Falcons defense is going to count on in 2021, that’s not ideal.

In total, 22 players tested positive and 24 were placed on the list leaguewide on Wednesday, with Fowler and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson being two of the more noteworthy names.

Unless I’ve missed some changes—and that’s quite possible, given how many things are flying around in terms of the NFL and COVID right now—Fowler won’t be back for at least five days. If he and the other four Falcons on the list are asymptomatic, they can return within 5 days if they have two negative tests separated by 24 hours, or 10 days since the initial positive test if they can’t clear that hurdle. If they have symptoms from the viral infection, they can’t return for 10 days at minimum and until 72 hours have gone by without any symptoms. Either way, they’re going to miss a not-insignificant chunk of training camp.

This is a particularly crucial year for Fowler, who agreed to a change to his deal that lowered his cap hit and will be hoping to cash in with a big deal a year from now. Coming off a disappointing 2020, Fowler has an opportunity as the team’s expected leading sack artist under new defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and obviously it would be ideal if he had as much time as possible with the team and the new coaching staff ahead of the 2021 season.

We’ll hope all are healthy and back in action as soon as possible with no further spread of COVID-19, which is already hitting the NFL harder than anyone would like as training camps begin.