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Cardinals place WR KeeSean Johnson on COVID-19 reserve list

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The Arizona Cardinals on Friday placed receiver KeeSean Johnson on the COVID-19 reserve list, the first such transaction for the team and a move that comes two days before the season opener.

The team does not report whether Johnson tested positive for coronavirus or whether he is in quarantine after being in close contact with a person who was infected. If a player falls into either category, a team is required to place him on the list.

The rules for a return date depend on whether the player tested positive or was potentially exposed. If they test positive, a timeline for a return then depends on whether they are symptomatic or not.

Johnson was listed as a non-participant on Thursday’s injury report.

Johnson was in the running to receive a limited number of snaps behind starters DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. He, Andy Isabella and Trent Sherfield make up the rest of the receiver room at present.

Johnson started off fast as a rookie last season, earning 50% or more of the offensive snaps in five games. He hit somewhat of a wall and without special teams duties tallied inactive stints in the last six games of the year. He finished with 21 catches for 187 yards.

“KeeSean started off pretty fast,” Arizona receivers coach David Raih said. “He kind of showed up, making plays. As you get into a 16-game NFL season, it’s hard to be consistent. The other thing was Kee wasn’t a top-three receiver or top-four receiver — I mean consistently.

“I can tell you this. He’s got a ton of pride. He worked on it all offseason,” Raih said. “Personally, I love him. He’s so fun to coach because he cares so much.”

If the Cardinals want to carry six receivers into Sunday’s Week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers, they have options on the practice squad with receivers JoJo Ward, Andre Patton and A.J. Richardson.


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