Seahawks receiver John Ursua, a Big Island native, added to NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list

  • Associated Press John Ursua – a former Kealakehe Waverider who was born in Kailua-Kona – either tested positive for COVID-19 or is being quarantined because he has been in close contact with someone who has.

Seattle Seahawks receiver John Ursua was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, the first time Seattle has placed a player on the list since players reported for training camp 13 days ago.

Going on the list means Ursua –a former Kealakehe Waverider who was born in Kailua-Kona – either tested positive for COVID-19 or is being quarantined because he has been in close contact with someone who has.

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The league is not specifically detailing the reason a player goes on the list and teams are not permitted to publicly discuss a player’s medical status who is on the list other than mentioning his roster status, per an agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.

The Seahawks had been one of five teams yet to place a player on the list.

Players on the list do not count against their team’s active roster limit — which is 80 for the Seahawks right now — while on the reserve list.

Ursua can be activated at any time when he is deemed healthy and has had multiple negative tests. For now, he is sidelined indefinitely.

As of Sunday, 105 players had been placed on the list since training camp began around the league, including two on Sunday. Of that total, 74 have since been activated, including eight on Sunday.

The NFLPA announced Thursday that 56 players had tested positive since players began to report for training camp. The league did not confirm that number.

Players are being tested daily during the first two weeks of camp. If the overall rate of players testing positive is less than 5% then players will be tested every other day.

The testing mechanism is part of a series of protocols put into place via an agreement between the league and the NFLPA to try to keep players safe and limit any potential spread of COVID-19.

The Seahawks have been shown wearing masks in numerous photos and videos released by the team of workouts the past week while the team is in its strength and conditioning phase of camp.

That phase ends Wednesday when the Seahawks will begin full-team workouts for a five-day period that will resemble offseason OTAs (Organized Team Activities). Full-padded practices will begin Aug. 17.

Steps NFL teams are taking to try to contain any spread of COVID-19 include social distancing, with meetings held virtually or in small groups, and wearing contact tracing devices.

Ursua, entering his second season, was a seventh-round pick out of Hawaii in 2019. He caught one pass for 11 yards as a rookie and is expected to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster again this season as a slot receiver. He played in three regular season games and the playoff win at Philadelphia, with 11 regular-season snaps.

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The Seahawks signed free agent Phillip Dorsett II to also play in the slot, and rookie Freddie Swain, a sixth-round pick in April, is also expected to play slot receiver.

Condotta writes for The Seattle Times

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