Hours before the opener, wideout KeeSean Johnson becomes the first Arizona Cardinals player to be placed on the COVID-19 list
The Arizona Cardinals couldn’t avoid it forever. Up until now, all of the organization’s players had steered clear of the coronavirus. Following months of good fortune, the Cards luck has finally run out.
KeeSean Johnson, the club’s second-year wide receiver, is the first on-field member of the Cardinals to be placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. That designation means one of two things. Johnson has either tested positive for the virus, or has been in close contact with someone who has been affected.
Kliff KIngsbury was blunt about the subject back in August. “We know we’re going to have positive cases at some point,” said Arizona’s head coach. “It’s just when, not if.”
The Cards released the news about Johnson on Friday, just two days before the squad is scheduled to face the San Francisco 49ers in their 2020 season-opener. Until that day, the Cardinals were one of four franchises that had avoided the list. The other three are the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots.
Johnson, for the time being, will not be allowed to enter Arizona’s training facility. The 23-year old pass-catcher will also be forced to self-quarantine. Johnson will now have to pass multiple COVID-19 tests before he’s permitted to participate in any practices or games with the team.
The loss of Johnson leaves the Cards with five wideouts on the roster at the current time. Quarterback Kyler Murray will have DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella and Trent Sherfield at his disposal on Sunday. No word yet on whether the Cardinals will be adding a replacement for Johnson in time for the matchup with the 49ers.
Arizona selected Johnson during the sixth round of the 2019 draft. The 6’1, 201 pounder was the third of three receivers taken by the Redbirds during the three-day event. In 10 appearances (four starts) with the Cards, Johnson hauled in 21 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown.