Green Bay Packers rookie AJ Dillon tests positive for coronavirus, out Thursday

Green Bay Packers rookie running back AJ Dillon has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will not play Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers because of virus-related protocols.

"The Packers were informed today that a player has tested positive for COVID-19," the team said in a statement on Monday. "Our organization has entered the NFL's intensive protocol and the player has self-quarantined. We will continue to work with the league on contact tracing as we follow the guidelines of intensive protocol. All player meetings will be conducted virtually today.

"Our focus continues to be on the health and safety of our players, staff and community. We will continue to work closely with the NFL and medical professionals and follow their guidance."

Dillon, the Packers' second-round pick, played 10 snaps on offense and seven on special teams in Sunday's 28-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

It's the first positive test for a Packers player since August, even though Green Bay has the highest 14-day average of cases per 100,000 people among all NFL cities, according to NFL Players Association data.

The Packers are on a short week playing Thursday at San Francisco, and protocols require that Dillon miss the game.

As of Monday afternoon, Packers coach Matt LaFleur said his team is operating under the assumption that Thursday's game will be played.

"All indications point toward us playing on Thursday night," LaFleur said. "I think the league has confidence that we've been handling things the right way in our building. So that's a credit to the guys in this building, as well as the people who kind of set the standard for us."

LaFleur declined to confirm that Dillon was the player who tested positive, but when asked whether it could land all of his running backs on the reserve/COVID list because they would be considered close contacts, he pointed to their previous efforts to keep players physically distanced when in the facility.

"The one thing about our meeting rooms and our guys have done a pretty good job of making sure we are not within that 6-feet radius of one another and that we're spaced out," he said. "We'll see what the reports say when they all get done doing all the research that the league has to do. But we feel confident that we've handled everything as well as we could have."

The Packers hope to get running back Aaron Jones back this week after he missed the past two games because of a calf injury. Fellow running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin, who were added to the injury report Monday as "not injury related," have been determined to be "close contacts" and the "league is evaluating if they were high-risk close contacts." If deemed high risk, they would not be permitted to play Thursday, per league protocols.

LaFleur said the Packers will be allowed to hold walk-through practices and physically distanced meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday before they depart for California. They would not normally hold a full-speed practice in advance of a Thursday game on a short week.

Players on Monday came to Lambeau Field in groups of 10 or fewer for treatment and workouts. The Packers canceled media availability for players on Monday.

"I think we're fortunate to have the meeting space around here where we can space people out where they're not at risk to be in contact with one another," LaFleur said. "I think we have to be mindful just everything that we're doing in terms of making sure that we stay as safe as possible, each individual, but we'll be able to have most of our meetings -- we might be a few short in certain meetings where we'll Zoom some guys in -- but for the most part, we're just doing business, not quite as usual but as close as it can be."