Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead will miss the remainder of the 2020 NFL season due to complications from COVID-19, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday. Armstead has not played in a game this season after his second placement on the COVID-19/reserve list came during the first week of September.
According to ESPN, Armstead has been hospitalized twice while suffering from various complications of COVID-19, including “significant respiratory issues.” Armstead is expected to return at full strength for the 2021 season, per ESPN.
The Jaguars released Leonard Fournette during the preseason due to the presence of Armstead and undrafted rookie James Robinson on the roster. Armstead was a fifth-round pick in 2019 out of Temple, and he ran 35 times for 108 yards as a rookie. Armstead’s absence this season has led to the emergence of Robinson as a high-end NFL running back.
When Armstead went on the COVID-19/reserve list in September, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said he couldn’t “put an exact timetable” on how long Armstead would be out, but that “he’ll be out a while.” The NFL has had more than 20 players placed on the COVID-19/reserve list this season, but no others have had symptoms reported as severe as Armstead’s.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a number of COVID-19’s symptoms align with the respiratory issues that ESPN reports Armstead has had, including cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
One other prominent athlete was forced to miss his entire 2020 season due to complications with COVID-19: Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. He dealt with myocarditis, a heart issue that could show up as a complication of the coronavirus. There’s no indication Armstead has dealt with any heart problems due to his COVID-19 case.
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