FOXBORO (CBS) — There was some good news and some bad news out of Patriots practice on Wednesday.
The good news is that Jamie Collins was back on the practice field after missing the last three weeks. The bad news is that safety Kyle Dugger was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list following a positive test.READ MORE: A Loophole In NFL's Penalty For Hitting Defenseless Receiver Was Exposed On Eric Weddle-Mike Evans Hit
That puts Dugger’s status for Monday night’s big game against the Buffalo Bills in serious doubt. Vaccinated players must isolate immediately after testing positive, but can rejoin the team if they remain symptom free and have two negative tests 24 hours apart. Players experiencing symptoms must remain in isolation until they return a pair of negative tests and are asymptomatic for 48 hours.
Unvaccinated players must isolate for a minimum of 10 days, even if they are asymptomatic, and go through several other tests to return to the team.READ MORE: Bengals Have Rookie Kicker Evan McPherson Thanks In Large Part To Patriots' Draft Day Trade
Dugger has developed into an important part of the New England secondary in just his second NFL season. He’s played in all 12 games this year, including 10 starts, and has racked up three interception, a fumble recovery and a team-high 80 total tackles. Losing the hard-hitting safety would be big loss for one of the NFL’s top defenses, especially against such an offensively talented team like Buffalo.
Running back J.J. Taylor was also missing after landing on the COVID-19 list on Monday. He’s been used sparingly this season, and hasn’t seen game action since Week 10 when he played 13 offensive snaps (and four special teams snaps) against the Browns.
At least Collins was back after missing the last three weeks with an ankle injury. The linebacker landed on IR with the injury, and New England now has 21 days to add him to the active roster.MORE NEWS: Rob Gronkowski Needs A Few Weeks To Decide On His Future, But Hints He May Still Play Even If Tom Brady Retires
New England currently sits in first place in the AFC East at 8-4, just ahead of the 7-4 Bills.