Matt Judon, Ja'Whaun Bentley Placed on Patriots' COVID-19 List Ahead of Jaguars GameDecember 28, 2021
The New England Patriots placed linebackers Matt Judon and Ja'Whaun Bentley ahead of their Week 17 clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted a record-high 106 players across the NFL landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to amend the league's COVID-19 protocols to allow for vaccinated and asymptomatic players to return more quickly amid the surge of new cases.
Judon appeared to downplay (warning: link contains profanity) the likely time frame for his absence.
Thanks to their 33-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots fell out of first place in the AFC East. At 9-6, they still occupy a wild-card spot but have yet to clinch a postseason berth.
New England is a 15.5-point favorite over Jacksonville at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Jags are clearly overmatched on paper, but the Houston Texans' 41-29 upset of the Los Angeles Chargers showed how teams eliminated from the playoff hunt can relish the role of spoiler.
Missing Judon and Bentley would be a big setback for the Patriots defense.
Judon punched his ticket to a third straight Pro Bowl with a team-high 12.5 sacks through 15 games. Bentley's 88 tackles, meanwhile, are second on New England, only two behind leader Kyle Dugger.
That's a lot of production the Patriots would have to replace.
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