On Monday, the Green Bay Packers signed offensive tackle Jared Veldheer off the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad following that team’s playoff loss. On Tuesday, he was in uniform for the Packers at practice as they began their on-field preparations for the Divisional Playoffs. But on Wednesday, Veldheer was barred from the building.
According to the NFL’s transaction wire, Veldheer has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. ESPN’s Field Yates reports that he has been placed there as a result of receiving a positive test.
So much for the added depth at tackle for this week.
Veldheer was immediately eligible to participate in practice for the Packers because he had been receiving daily COVID tests as part of the Colts’ roster and had tested negative upon his arrival in Green Bay. This is the same reason that Damon Harrison was practicing on his first day with the team following the Packers’ waiver claim for him before week 17’s game.
Ultimately, the Packers are no worse off from a roster perspective than they were on Sunday — at least for now. Concern for Veldheer is warranted, as it is for anyone testing positive, and he will need to work through the league’s COVID protocol, which should keep him out at least a week. However, the Packers apparently were fortunate on a broader perspective, as contact tracing has reportedly determined that no other players are deemed high-risk close contacts. This means that the Packers will not have to send any additional players to the reserve/COVID-19 list along with Veldheer, provided that there are no additional positive tests in the days to come.
That will be the major question in the lead-up to Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. If indeed no other positive tests appear, the Packers’ active roster should be at mostly full strength, with only one player (Kingsley Keke) looking like he will miss the game for injury reasons. Keep an eye out in the coming days for any news of additional positive tests.