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The Arizona Cardinals have had three positive COVID-19 tests this week, a source told ESPN on Thursday, putting the team one positive test away from going into intensive protocols. That would mean more testing for several players and personnel. The positive tests include one player and two members of the staff, according to a source.

Cardinals linebacker and former Patriot Chandler Jones was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday because of a positive test. On Wednesday, coach Kliff Kingsbury said Jones was symptomatic. Since he’s vaccinated, in order for Jones to return to the Cardinals, he needs to have two negative tests 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic for 48 hours.

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Panthers RB McCaffrey still out

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey did not practice, a sign that he could miss his third straight game while trying to rehab from a hamstring injury.

The 2019 All-Pro running back had participated in four straight practices for the Panthers on a limited basis.

All signs point to Christian McCaffrey sitting again this week.
All signs point to Christian McCaffrey sitting again this week.Justin Rex/Associated Press

Coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Wednesday that McCaffrey was “50-50″ for the game and that his playing status would likely come down to a game-time decision. Rhule does not address reporters on Thursday of a normal game week.

The Panthers’ 2017 first-round draft pick was injured in a Week 3 win against the Houston Texans. He hasn’t played since and the Panthers are 0-2 without him in the starting lineup after starting the season 3-0.

Another injury for Barkley

After working non-stop for 10 months to recover from an ACL injury and get on the field with the New York Giants, Saquon Barkley is dealing with the frustration of another injury.

The fourth-year running back is probably going to miss at least one or two games after spraining his left ankle on a fluke play early in the Giants’ 44-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.

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Barkley wasn’t the only Giants player hurt. Quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a concussion in a goal-line collision near halftime and left the game. Playmaking receiver Kenny Golladay did not play in the second half because of a knee injury.

Neither Barkley nor Golladay has practiced this week as the Giants (1-4) prepare for a home game against the Los Angeles Rams (4-1) at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Jones was surprisingly out on the field Thursday in a non-contact role in practice. That is Stage 4 of the NFL concussion protocol. He could practice tomorrow and then see a specialist and get clearance to play Sunday.

WFT to retire Taylor’s number

The Washington Football Team is retiring late safety Sean Taylor’s number this weekend, last-minute timing that sparked criticism while the organization is dealing with multiple off-field scandals.

Washington has previously promoted jersey retirement ceremonies months in advance, most recently in June for Bobby Mitchell’s night in September. The announcement of Taylor’s No. 21 being retired came three days before Washington hosted Kansas City on what the team calls homecoming weekend.

The late Sean Taylor will get his number retired this weekend by Washington.
The late Sean Taylor will get his number retired this weekend by Washington.Nick Wass/Associated Press

The team said in a statement this has been in the works since before the season and apologized to fans for the lack of notice.

Washington’s head athletic trainer is on administrative leave for what a team spokesman called an ongoing criminal investigation unrelated to the club after federal authorities, including agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, searched the practice facility Oct. 1.

Former employees are also calling for the NFL to release the findings of an investigation into Washington workplace misconduct after emails from Jon Gruden led to the Raiders coach’s resignation.

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Taylor was murdered at his home during a botched robbery attempt in 2007, midway through his fourth NFL season. His hard-hitting style, including decking a punter in the Pro Bowl, made him a fan favorite.

Gronk misses third straight

Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs) and Philadelphia right tackle Lane Johnson (personal) both missed their third straight game Thursday night … Quarterback Lamar Jackson missed practice for the Baltimore Ravens because of an illness. Jackson was listed on the team’s injury report. He’s missed practice time previously this season but hasn’t missed any of Baltimore’s five games … The Chicago Bears placed running back Damien Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list, putting his status for their game against the Green Bay Packers in question. The Bears (3-2) are already missing their leading rusher with David Montgomery on injured reserve because of a sprained knee. Williams is second on the team with 137 yards and two touchdowns …Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack will not accompany the team to London for Sunday’s game against Miami because of a back injury.