Why a Positive Coronavirus Test Stopped Jared Veldheer From Making History

Why a positive COVID-19 test stopped this OT from making history originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer was primed and ready to make NFL history by becoming the first player to ever compete for two teams in the same postseason. On Wednesday, however, a positive coronavirus prevented that from being the case. 

Thanks to the NFL's more lenient practice squad regulations this season, which allows for two veterans to sign with the 16-man practice squad regardless of how long they've been in the league, Veldheer was able to sign with the Indianapolis Colts before their Week 17 contest.

The 10-year tackle ended up starting both that game and the Colts' Wild Card loss to the Bills, but since practice-squad players' contracts expire when their team's season is over, Veldheer was permitted to immediately sign with another team in need of offensive line reinforcements. 

Enter the Green Bay Packers, who Veldheer had experience with from last season. Veldheer signed with Green Bay to relieve Bryan Bulaga, who suffered a Week 17 concussion.

While the Packers have three offensive linemen -- David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, and Rick Wagner -- on the injury report (Wagner the only one with a chance to play against the Rams), head coach Matt LaFleur said signing Veldheer was more about having proper reinforcements. 

“You can never have enough great players, and Jared is a guy who we definitely hold in high regard. It definitely adds depth to that room, which you can’t have enough of,” LaFleur said.

If the NFL takes away the 2020 practice squad rules next season, then coronavirus has just taken away a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Veldheer to make history. 

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