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Top NFL doc: Panthers COVID-19 transmission linked to gathering of players outside facility

Carolina placed eight new players on the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday, due to either positive tests, or close contact tracing.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The NFL's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Allen Sills says that the Panthers' recent COVID-19 issues stem from a gathering of players outside the team facility.

Carolina placed eight new players on the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday, due to either positive tests, or close contact tracing.

Some players have returned from the list already, but starters DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, Derrick Brown, Zach Kerr and Shaq Thompson were still on the list as of Wednesday afternoon.

“I think we have a fairly robust understanding of where transmission occurred. It did not occur in the club facility," said Dr. Sills. "There was outside exposure that allowed transmission to occur.”

Sills said the league has been in contact with the Panthers, and head coach Matt Rhule about continued compliance with COVID-19 protocol, and the team did not have its facility open Monday or Tuesday.

Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule said he spoke to the team on Monday.

"I tried to talk very directly about the situation," Rhule said. "A reminder that we can't get together outside the building, and that we had to be very cognizant of who we're around. This is about 'I want you to be safe."

Multiple NFL teams have been fined, and even docked draft picks for violating NFL COVID-19 protocols this season.

It is unclear at this time if the Panthers were found to have violated protocol.

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