Second-year quarterback Jake Luton tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of training camp. This could hinder his chances of being with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021.
Training camp gives fringe players the chance to make a positive impression and sophomore quarterback Jake Luton would benefit from having a solid performance. However, he could be out for a while after testing positive for COVID-19. New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney and Luton were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Media. They were the first known players to test positive in 2021.
It’s unknown if Luton was vaccinated. As recently as July, the Jaguars were not doing well in player-vaccination rate. Whether or not the sophomore quarterback got the shot, he will need to pass the league protocols. Vaccinated players can return after testing negative on consecutive days while unvaccinated ones will be subject to a mandatory ten-day isolation period. The NFL just told clubs that it won’t reschedule any games for teams that suffer a COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, teams will have to forfeit the game and will be credited with a loss.
If games are canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak, players will not get paid.
"If a game is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled within the current 18-week scheduled due to a Covid outbreak, neither team’s players will receive their weekly paragraph 5 salary."
Jake Luton may have a hard time impressing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gardner Minshew II entered the 2020 season as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2020 starting quarterback but a thumb injury sidelined him. The coaching staff then turned to Luton, who played surprisingly well in his NFL debut against the Houston Texans in Week 9. Even though the Jags lost 25-27, he completed 26 of 38 passes for 304 yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown, and one interception.
However, the 2020 sixth-round pick came crashing down the following week, completing 18 passes for 169 with one touchdown and one interception against the Green Bay Packers. Things didn’t get much better against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11 and he was promptly benched. All in all, he made three starts and went 60-of-100 for 624 yards with two touchdowns, to go along with six interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 54.5.
Luton still has time to develop into a solid backup but getting COVID-19 might not help his cause simply because it’s uncertain how much time he will miss and training camp starts on July 27. Keep in mind that the best ability is availability. Without the opportunity to show what he can do on the field, he’s going to lose ground. He’s currently behind Trevor Lawrence, Minshew, and C.J. Beathard on the Jaguars’ quarterback depth chart.
At best, the former Beaver was a candidate for the practice squad. Lawrence was entrenched as the starter and Minshew is the primary backup. If Jacksonville carried three quarterbacks into the season, Beathard would get the call. Luton was already facing an uphill battle before testing positive for COVID-19. His quest for making an impact in training camp might just have become more difficult.