As if this season hasn’t been tough enough, the Carolina Panthers announced Monday that they are in the middle of a COVID-19 outbreak.
According to ESPN, the Panthers sent players home Monday after a “somewhat significant” number tested positive for the virus. Six players were added to the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, and most of them were on the defensive side of the ball, including defensive ends Brian Burns and Marquis Haynes, defensive tackles Phil Hoskins and Daviyon Nixon and linebacker Shaq Thompson.
The Panthers had eight players miss Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay because of the virus, including receiver Brandon Zylstra and quarterback Matt Barkley, who was released by the Panthers on Tuesday.
Carolina is currently 5-10 this season after starting the year 3-0. The Panthers have lost five games in a row and six of their last seven overall. They finished with five wins last season.
Second-year head coach Matt Rhule, in less than two years with the team, has an overall record of 10-21.
The Panthers play New Orleans on the road Sunday. Carolina defeated the Saints, 26-7, back in Week 2.
New Orleans is coming off a loss to Miami on Monday where the Saints were playing their fourth-string quarterback, Ian Book, because of COVID issues. In his first NFL start, Book completed 12-of-20 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions.
The Saints played Monday’s game with 20 total players out because of COVID protocols.