Several starters, key Las Vegas Raiders players land on COVID-19 list ahead of game vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Several key starting defenders on the Las Vegas Raiders have landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list as the team gears up to face AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The team placed six players on the list Wednesday, including safety Johnathan Abram, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, nose tackle Johnathan Hankins, all of whom are starters, and defensive end Arden Key, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and defensive tackle Kendall Vickers, who are backups.

They joined defensive end Clelin Ferrell and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, both starters, who were placed on the list on Tuesday.

Offensive tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Cory Littleton were already on the list at the start of the week.

Raiders strong safety Johnathan Abram was among six Las Vegas players placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. (Photo: Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports)

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According to the NFL Network, Ferrell tested positive for the novel coronavirus and many of the other additions are due to high-risk close contacts. 

For the players who are deemed close contacts, they will be eligible to play Sunday, provided they test negative leading up to gameday. Even if they continue to test negative for the virus, though, the additions will significantly disrupt practice time and preparation for Sunday's game.

Ferrell posted an Instagram story to his verified account Tuesday, hinting that he would miss the Chiefs game.

"I’m doing OK thank you to everyone who reached out!!!" Ferrell wrote. "I’ll be back better than ever!! (Expletive) hurts but we got better goals than one game!! Thank you Raider nation!!"

The Raiders (6-3) already defeated the Chiefs (8-1) earlier this year. Kansas City has the NFL's second-ranked scoring offense, averaging 31.8 points a game.

Earlier on Wednesday, the NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams, indicating that the league was placing every franchise in the intensive protocol, effective Saturday, for the remainder of the season.

"Obviously the world is in a state right now where that's a great decision," Gruden said of the NFL putting all teams under the intensive protocol for the remainder of the season. "It impacts everything just like it impacts this press conference. You do a lot of Zoom meetings and you've got to adapt to the rules and you've got to keep safety paramount."

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