Following a positive coronavirus test for defensive end Clelin Ferrell, six additional Las Vegas Raiders defensive players were put on the reserve/COVID-19 list as high-risk close contacts, per the transaction wire after an initial report from NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero Wednesday afternoon.
Safety Johnathan Abram, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, defensive back Isaiah Johnson, defensive end Arden Key and defensive tackle Kendal Vickers were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.
The players will be eligible to play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs should they continue to test negatively, Rapoport added, though some will only be eligible on Sunday, meaning practicing ahead of the key game will not be possible.
"I don't know about the whole defense," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said earlier Wednesday, per ESPN.com. "I'm not going to get into what list anybody is on. We practiced today and we'll be ready for the game on Sunday. ... It's what you have to do. Everybody has to adapt to a lot of things in every phase of life. We had to go through some things before. We'll be there on Sunday and we'll be prepared."
Ferrell's positive test and subsequent placement on the reserve/COVID-19 was reported earlier Wednesday.
Ferrell is likely out for Sunday night's game against the Chiefs. Those in close contact with him will likely be forced to miss multiple practices ahead of the game as previously mentioned. Safety Lamarcus Joyner was previously identified as a close contact and placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, bringing the total to eight Raiders defensive players.
Offensive tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Cory Littleton were also placed on the list this month. Littleton likewise had a positive test, while Brown hasn't played since Week 5 and has been on the list multiple times.
Las Vegas' starting defense's availability comes into question on the same day in which the NFL announced that, beginning Saturday, all 32 teams must operate under the league's intensive protocol for the remainder of the season.
It's also the latest in an ever-growing inventory of Raiders issues -- positive tests, failure to comply with protocols, fines -- dealing with COVID-19.
Las Vegas has incurred a total of $1.2 million in fines. Most recently on Nov. 5, the league fined the Raiders $500,000 and coach Jon Gruden $150,000 in addition to stripping the franchise of a sixth-round draft pick for coronavirus protocol violations related to Brown's previous positive COVID-19 test in late October. A positive test for Brown, who was initially placed on the list Oct. 21, called upon the need for the starting offensive line because contract tracing connected them to Brown, akin to Wednesday's events.
Gruden and the team were first fined $100,000 and $250,000, respectively, due to the coach's failure to follow proper face-covering protocol. After that, quarterback Derek Carr and tight end Darren Waller were among 10 Raiders fined for not following protocol at a charity event in which they were seen without masks. The team also incurred a $50,000 fine for an unauthorized visitor in the locker room.