This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.
COVID-19 has already made its mark on the 2020 season and will be a constant threat to derail the NFL's hope of crowning an eventual champion. The league has done a commendable job of minimizing the spread of the virus, but it was inevitable players would miss time due to the illness. The first notable in-season case comes courtesy of Jacksonville where Armstead likely will not play in Week 1 after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This marks the second time the 23-year-old running back has received this designation and will prevent him from establishing himself in the suddenly wide-open Jaguars backfield. Armstead's stay on the COVID-19 list is expected to keep him out "a while," opening the door for Devine Ozigbo to move up the depth chart with Chris Thompson the likely option in passing catching situations.
Following surgery to address a pinkie injury, Harris will become one of the first noteworthy players to utilize this season's new (and temporary) injured reserve rules. For the 2020 season, any player placed on the IR for a football or non-football related injury can be reactivated after a minimum of three weeks. In previous years, the designation required a player to sit for at least eight weeks. Additionally, there is no limitation on the number of players that an organization can place on the IR. These new rules will give teams significant roster flexibility for the year ahead and could add clarity to normally ambiguous injury scenarios.