Jets coach Robert Saleh tests positive for COVID-19

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New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh leaves the field at the end of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 19, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 31-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets coach Robert Saleh tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the latest in what has been a surge of coronavirus cases on the team.

Tight ends coach Ron Middleton will coach the team at practice in Saleh’s absence. Saleh could return as soon as Thursday if he no longer shows symptoms and tests negative.

If Saleh doesn’t test out of the COVID-19 protocols before Sunday, Middleton will also serve as the head coach in New York’s game against Jacksonville.

The Jets have 14 players from the active and practice squad rosters, including injured reserve, on the COVID-19 list: wide receivers Elijah Moore, Jeff Smith and Vyncint Smith; guard Alijah Vera-Tucker; defensive linemen Folorunso Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers and Tanzel Smart; linebackers Blake Cashman, Noah Dawkins and Hamsah Nasirildeen; cornerbacks Michael Carter II and Lamar Jackson; safety Sharrod Neasman; and special teams ace Justin Hardee.

On Monday, the first day under the NFL’s revised protocols, 47 players were placed on the COVID-19 list, the most in a single day since the pandemic began. Another 21 NFL players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday.

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