The NY Jets have officially placed linebacker James Burgess on the COVID-19 list.
Burgess joins the likes of fifth-round pick Bryce Hall, reserve linebacker Ahmad Gooden, and undrafted rookie Shyheim Carter as the fourth player the Jets have placed on the list so far.
Of course, the Jets have had two players opt-out of the 2020 NFL season so far in star linebacker C.J. Mosley and backup offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi. Players will have until 4 p.m. EST on Thursday to officially opt-out.
Now, Burgess’ placement on the COVID-19 list doesn’t necessarily mean that he has contracted the virus. The league will not reveal whether a player has officially tested positive, that’s left up to the player’s discretion.
However, it does mean that he has either tested positive or come in close contact with someone who has tested positive. As a result, Burgess and the others on the list are forced to quarantine for an undisclosed period of time and can only return when medically cleared.
Since it’s still early August, chances are that all four will be good to go by the regular season. But their situations are certainly still worth monitoring.
The NY Jets’ linebacker depth takes quite a hit without James Burgess.
Burgess’ absence could be felt the most following the aforementioned Mosley’s decision to opt-out of the 2020 season. Without Mosley, the Jets will be relying on a slew of other linebackers to step up this season, Burgess among them.
The 26-year-old entered last season on the Jets’ practice squad but was promoted to the active roster following injuries at the linebacker position. Few would have predicted that Burgess would go on to lead the Jets in tackles with 80 starting all 10 games that he played.
The Jets re-signed Burgess to a one-year, $925,000 deal with $100,000 in guarantees back in April. And along with the re-signing of Neville Hewitt and the addition of Patrick Onwuasor, the Jets made sure to solidify their linebacker depth in the offseason.
Throw in 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman and there’s still plenty of depth at the position even without Mosley. But without Burgess, that depth would take yet another hit.
Here’s to hoping that Burgess and the others on the list are healthy and can return to the gridiron as soon as possible.