Atlanta Falcons rookie starting cornerback A.J. Terrell was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday and will not be available for Sunday's matchup against the Chicago Bears. The first-round draft pick from Clemson is the first NFL player to miss a game due to COVID-19.
Terrell tested positive for COVID-19, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The team is not allowed to confirm if Terrell has tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot say how long Terrell could be quarantined. The Falcons previously ruled out starting safety Ricardo Allen with a hyperextended elbow and projected starting cornerback Kendall Sheffield, who has yet to play this season while recovering from a foot injury.
According to Schefter, the Falcons got the news about Terrell's COVID-19 test Saturday after he took the test Friday. Terrell practiced Friday without limitations. Contact tracing goes into effect, but the Falcons have not gotten any other positive test results, according to Schefter.
Isaiah Oliver starts at one outside corner position for the Falcons. Now the team might have to look to veterans Darqueze Dennard or Blidi Wreh-Wilson at the other outside corner spot. Dennard has been playing inside in the nickel, while Wreh-Wilson started outside at corner last year when former starter Desmond Trufant was injured.
The Falcons enter Sunday's game with a number of key injuries, including star wide receiver Julio Jones being questionable due to a hamstring strain. Jones did not practice all week but is a game-time decision.
Four other Falcons are listed as questionable: starting right tackle Kaleb McGary (MCL), starting defensive ends Dante Fowler Jr. (ankle) and Takk McKinley (groin), and starting linebacker Foye Oluokun (hamstring). McGary is not expected to play and is expected to be replaced by Matt Gono.
Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said earlier in the week he won't use injuries as crutch for his struggling defense, which has surrendered 78 points and 953 total yards in an 0-2 start. The Falcons have allowed opponents to convert 90% in the red zone (9 of 10).
After placing Terrell on the COVID-19 list Saturday, the Falcons elevated cornerbacks Delrick Abrams Jr. and Tyler Hall from the practice squad for depth and also elevated linebacker Edmond Robinson.