The Kansas City Chiefs are set to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV this Sunday, and they'll have at least one of the two players whose status was in question due to COVID-19. Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was cleared to practice on Friday, according to a report from NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
On Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs placed Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore on the reserve/COVID-19 list. According to Schefter, both players did not test positive for the coronavirus, but they were identified as close contacts. This is notable because if both players register negative tests during their five-day isolation period, they will be cleared in time for the Super Bowl. While Robinson has done just that and cleared the protocol, Kilgore will need to register one more negative test in order to be cleared on Saturday.
According to Pelissero, a barber who recently cut the hair of Robinson and Kilgore received a positive test result for COVID-19 on Sunday. Pelissero reports that all parties were masked during the encounters, which lowers the chance of actually transmitting the virus, but since the players were close to the infected barber for more than just a short period of time, they were deemed high-risk close contacts.
Robinson is a reserve wideout, but he has played well when called upon. In 16 games with nine starts this season, he caught a career-high 45 receptions for 466 yards and three touchdowns. He caught one pass for 14 yards against the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round of the playoffs.
The news broke when star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was having his media availability on Super Bowl Opening Night. When asked about the situation, he sounded optimistic about Robinson's availability on Sunday.
"Hopefully he's out there with us," Mahomes said, via Aaron Ladd of 41 Action News. "But we've had guys step up all year."
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Kilgore is the Chiefs' backup center behind Austin Reiter, but the depth along the offensive line has already been tested enough. Kansas City will be without its starting right and left tackles for the Super Bowl due to injury, and will have to reshuffle starters to prepare for this week. They have their work cut out for them against this tenacious Buccaneers pass-rush.
Thankfully, neither Kilgore nor Robinson reportedly registered a positive test, and it's good that this development surfaced on Monday instead of later on in the week.