The NFL is staring at multiple worrisome COVID-19 issues ahead of the long Thanksgiving weekend.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero tweeted on Tuesday that the entire defensive coaching staff of the Jacksonville Jaguars is away from the team's facility because of COVID-19 protocols. It's unknown if any of those individuals tested positive for the virus or have been deemed "high-risk close contacts" of an infected person.
Any players named close contacts would have to isolate away from team activities and miss practices but could participate in Sunday's home game against the Cleveland Browns if they return multiple negative COVID-19 tests and also report no symptoms typical of coronavirus infections.
Cleveland already knows ahead of the halfway point of the week that its defense won't be at full strength Sunday afternoon. Star pass-rusher Myles Garrett, who led the NFL with 9.5 sacks before Week 11, will remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list through the Jacksonville game after he tested positive for the virus last week. Meanwhile, cornerback Denzel Ward is sidelined for "a few weeks" due to the calf strain he suffered in Cleveland's win over the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday.
Elsewhere around the NFL, there are concerns that Thursday night's divisional clash between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers won't take place, as scheduled, after Baltimore confirmed multiple positive COVID-19 test results within the team.
Ravens running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram tested positive earlier in the week, and Baltimore added linebacker Pernell McPhee to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday afternoon. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams is also on the list.