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Patriots LB’s Judon, Bentley head to COVID-19 list


FOXBORO (CBS) — After a tough loss to the Bills on Sunday, things aren’t getting much better for the Patriots on Monday. New England placed linebackers Matthew Judon and Ja’Whaun Bentley on the Reserve/COVID list following positive tests on Monday, as the NFL deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases around the league.

There is a chance that Judon and Bentley could test out and be available for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, much like wide receiver Kendrick Bourne did last week. Bourne tested positive of last Monday, but was cleared to play on Saturday night.

And while the Patriots shouldn’t need their best pass rusher against the 2-13 Jaguars, not having Judon would put further strain on a defense that hasn’t been too spectacular over the last few weeks. Judon has been excellent in his first season with the Patriots, registering a team-high 12.5 sacks, 25 QB hits, 57 total tackles and a fumble recovery through 15 games.

Bentley has played 68 percent of New England’s defensive snaps this season and has racked up 88 tackles, good for the second-most on the team.

While New England may be without two important players on defense come Sunday, their Week 17 opponent — the Jacksonville Jaguars — placed 11 players on the Reserve/COVID list on Monday. A total of 106 players around the NFL landed on the list, all of whom tested positive for COVID-19, representing a new record high for the league.

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