Black and Blue Kickoff Live: Panthers in ‘intensive protocol’ ahead of Sunday game after Falcons player tests positive for COVID

Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE/AP)- The Carolina Panthers are taking extra precautions after a Falcon’s player tested positive for COVID-19.

The Panthers are now in the NFL’s intensive protocol. But what does that mean?

First, all players and coaches must wear masks during practice. Coaches can’t hold meetings in smaller meeting rooms, they must be in team size rooms.

Only 10 players can work out in the gym at the same time, with only five non-players present, meaning trainers or coaches.

Players continuously have to be tested for COVID and their test from the previous day must be negative for them to enter the facility.

Meals must be grab and go, and players can be in locker room for 15 minutes or less and masks must be worn.

The Panthers have to keep up with these the new protocol all while getting ready to take on the Chicago Bears this Sunday and dealing with more injuries.

They lost two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short to a shoulder injury for the second straight season, and 2019 All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey is not quite ready to return to action either.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the 6-foot- 315-pound Short will need season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, but wouldn’t get into the specifics of the injury. Short missed the final 14 games of last season after tearing the rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He will be placed on injured reserve.

The Panthers have lost two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short to a shoulder injury for the second straight season, and 2019 All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey is not quite ready to return to action either.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the 6-foot- 315-pound Short will need season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, but wouldn’t get into the specifics of the injury. Short missed the final 14 games of last season after tearing the rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He will be placed on injured reserve.

Carolina’s defense has been much improved during a three-game win streak. Good news for Carolinas as the Bears’ run blocking has bogged down and left guard James Daniels suffered what has been reported as a season-ending pectoral injury.

The chore facing the Bears’ O-line as a group is finding a way to run better than during the last two games.

You can watch the Panthers and the Bears at 1 p.m. on FOX.

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