NFL's Vikings won't bring back fans as Covid cases surge

Washington (AFP) –


The NFL's Minnesota Vikings said Wednesday they won't try to bring fans back to their US Bank Stadium this year as Covid-19 cases rise in the United States.

"Closing the final four home games to fans is the right decision to help protect our community," the team said in a statement on Wednesday.

Minnesota governor Tim Walz on Tuesday imposed new restrictions on gatherings in bars, restaurants and even homes to contain the virus that has left the Minneapolis area in danger of a shortage of intensive care hospital beds.

For the season to date, the Vikings had only allowed 250 friends and family members of players into the stadium that seats 67,200.

They had hoped, however, to sell a limited number of tickets to games before the season ended.

While some NFL teams have been able to welcome a limited number of fans, depending on local coronavirus restrictions, the Vikings joined the New England Patriots who announced on Monday that spectators would not be allowed at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile teams continue to navigate the pandemic.

The Indianapolis Colts announced Wednesday they have placed linebacker and special teams player Matthew Adams on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. He's the first Colts player to be put on the list since the start of the regular season.

The Indianapolis Star reported Adams was considered a high-risk close contact to somebody outside of the Colts facility who had been exposed to the virus.

A Cincinnati Bengals practice squad player tested positive for Covid-19 and the team told its defensive backs to skip Wednesday practice, NFL Network reported.

But the Bengals have reportedly been able to remove two players from the reserve/Covid-19 list as they prepare to face the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

The Steelers said Tuesday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and three other players were in isolation and undergoing daily testing after a Covid case involving team-mate Vance McDonald.