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Earlier this week, the San Francisco 49ers placed wide receiver Kendrick Bourne on the COVID-19 reserve list after he tested positive for coronavirus. Because they were considered close contacts of Bourne’s, wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel and left tackle Trent Williams were all placed on the COVID-19 list as well. 

Now, though, Bourne has tested negative for coronavirus on each of the last two days, according to a report from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. That makes Bourne eligible to return from the COVID-19 list, along with Aiyuk, Samuel, and Williams. (Samuel is injured.)

Bourne’s agent, Henry Organ, told Garafolo regarding the sequence of events that has played out this week, “It’s frustrating because Kendrick has been really responsible with everything. He’s taken COVID-19 very seriously. It’s not a joke to him.”

The 49ers were not the only team missing players for Thursday night’s game due to their being placed on the COVID-19 list. The Packers were without running backs A.J. Dillon (tested positive) and Jamaal Williams (close contact), plus linebacker Kamal Martin (close contact). 

The Niners’ absences were more meaningful, though, because of the decimation of their skill position group due to previous injuries. With Bourne and Aiyuk out, plus Samuel, George Kittle, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Jimmy Garoppolo injured, they were down to a patchwork group that struggled badly to move the ball for most of the evening. The good news for San Francisco is that it sounds like the players who had to be placed on the COVID-19 list are moving closer to being in the clear, and should be able to feel good about both their health and ability to play in next week’s game.

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