Panthers send players home after 6 more positive COVID-19 tests

CHARLOTTE — (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have sent all of their players home from Bank of America Stadium after six more players tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

That brings the total number of Carolina players on the COVID-19 reserve list to 13.

Defensive end Brian Burns, linebacker Shaq Thompson, defensive end Marquis Haynes, defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, center Matt Paradis and defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon all tested positive on Monday. Paradis and Nixon were already on injured reserve.

On Thursday, three more players were added to the list. Center Pat Elflein and guard/tackle Dennis Daley were added to the reserve/COVID-19 list. Practice squad defensive end Austin Larkin was also placed on the list.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the decision to send players home was made “to stem the tide” and get things under control. The team will conduct its meetings virtually until then, and Rhule is hoping to have players back in the building for practice on Wednesday.

The Panthers lost 32-6 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

They visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Kickoff for the Week 17 game has been pushed back to 4:25 p.m.

Panthers’ woes continue with three more players added to league’s COVID-19 list

The Carolina Panthers (5-9) now have seven players on the NFL’s COVID-19 list after three more players were added to the list on Thursday.

Center Pat Elflein and guard/tackle Dennis Daley were the most recent additions to the reserve/COVID-19 list. Practice squad defensive end Austin Larkin was also placed on the list.

The designations will mean yet another adjustment to the Panthers’ starting offensive line.

Sam Tecklenburg -- the only other center on the roster -- is expected to step into Elflein’s role and start at center on Sunday. Eflein was starting in place of Matt Paradis who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 9

The lineup change would bring the 11th starting offensive line combination in 15 weeks for the last place Panthers.

Four other active Panthers are on the league’s COVID-19 list, including quarterback Matt Barkley, defensive tackle Derrick Brown, safety Sam Franklin Jr. and defensive end Azur Kamara.

Running back Christian McCaffery was removed from the COVID-19 list on Wednesday, but he has already been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury.

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