The Dez Rule? NFL Now Allowing Teams To Replace COVID-19 Scratches on Game Day

Thanks to a new rule, NFL teams can now get help when a player tests positive for COVID-19 on the day of a game.

A memo on the matter was sent to all 32 teams Wednesday, via Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, describing the new rule. Basically, teams can activate someone to replace a player who is out because of a positive COVID-19 test, or has been close to someone with COVID-19, after the inactives are announced.

This stems from the Baltimore Ravens’ Week 13 game, when Dez Bryant was pulled from the lineup prior to kickoff after a positive test. The Ravens were not allowed to replace him. Now teams can, just in time for the playoffs.

The new rule allows teams to make a move up to 30 minutes before kickoff. Only inactive players and practice squad members are eligible to be COVID replacements.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,

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