The Green Bay Packers will be facing an interesting situation on their special teams on Sunday, as one of their core players will be unavailable. On Friday afternoon, the team placed wide receiver Malik Taylor on the reserve/COVID-19 list, all but ensuring that he will miss Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
A second-year player from Ferris State, Taylor has been active for all but one game since the start of the 2020 season. He has primarily played a special teams role, particularly as a gunner on punt and kickoff coverage teams, and has logged at least 14 special teams snaps in every game this season. Taylor also has lined up on offense for 24 snaps this season, catching two of three targets for 14 yards, all coming in the opening game against the New Orleans Saints.
Taylor’s appearance on the COVID list will necessitate some careful watching of the roster between now and kickoff between the Packers and Bears at noon on Sunday. It is possible that Taylor has a symptomatic case of COVID-19, as he was listed on Friday’s injury report as a non-participant in practice due to an illness. The team waited until after the injury report was revealed to announce Taylor’s COVID designation.
This is the second time the Packers have placed a player on the reserve/COVID-19 list this season. Defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster landed on the list a few weeks ago. He missed one game, the contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but returned for last week’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Packers already promoted Equanimeous St. Brown from the practice squad to the active roster this week, and his presence on the roster should help mitigate Taylor’s absence. However, the team will be afforded an extra practice squad elevation for gameday due to Taylor landing on the COVID list, and they may use that slot to bring up another player to take Taylor’s place on special teams units. Stay tuned into the weekend for news of any roster elevations.