Following Jared Veldheer’s positive COVID-19 test earlier this week, some measure of panic rightfully set in for Green Bay Packers fans. The new arrival tested positive the day after his first practice with the team, knocking him out for Saturday’s Divisional Playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams and robbing the Packers of some potentially important depth on the offensive line.
But ultimately, even with Veldheer going on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Packers were no worse off than they were two days earlier before Veldheer signed. Or at least that would be the case provided that no other players tested positive between Wednesday and Saturday. Thankfully, Saturday morning is here and there is good news on that front:
No positive COVID tests among playoff teams this morning, source said. All clear for divisional round.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 16, 2021
It appears that the Packers have avoided any issues stemming from Veldheer’s positive, at least in the immediate days following. COVID-19’s incubation time could of course result in positive tests in the coming days, so if the Packers advance to the NFC Championship Game, the results of testing will surely be of interest. However, all appears to be well for today’s game at the very least.
Head coach Matt LaFleur expressed confidence in his team and the entire organization, complimenting the Packers’ players, coaches, and staff on being diligent about wearing masks appropriately and following NFL guidance. During the regular season, the Packers only had two positive tests, to rookies AJ Dillon and Krys Barnes in early November, and even those individuals deemed to be close contacts were able to avoid any positive tests of their own. With no close contacts to Veldheer forced to quarantine or be deactivated, the Packers can focus on today’s game with a clear mind, and hopefully they will be able to do so over the next week as well if they emerge with a victory over the Rams.
The Rams also get a clean bill of health on the COVID-19 front today, but more typical injury issues are giving them some pause. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp is reportedly a true game-time decision, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, so his status will remain unknown until the Rams release their list of inactive players approximately 90 minutes before kickoff.
Keep your browsers locked here at Acme Packing Company for news on Kupp’s status and any other events leading up to today’s game.