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Texans prep for Jaguars, but place 3 LBs on Reserve/COVID-19 list

The Houston Texans will be without three linebackers for Sunday's game at Jacksonville: Jacob Martin, Whitney Mercilus and Dylan Cole.

The team shut down its facility after receiving a positive COVID-19 test on Wednesday night.

The player immediately self-isolated and contact tracing has begun," the team said in statement. "We will follow the NFL's intensive protocols and guidance regarding the team's operations. The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority."

Martin, who tested positive, has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Mercilus and Cole were also placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list due to high-risk contact.

"After the NFL did their contact tracing, they found that Whitney Mercilus and Dylan Cole had been in close contact with Jacob and felt that they were potentially at risk, if not for having it, for passing it on to other team members," interim head coach Romeo Crennel said. "So the protocol says they need to isolate for five days. So they have to isolate for five days which means that they are not eligible for the Jacksonville game."

The Texans worked remotely on Thursday and are hoping to re-open their facility as early as Friday if there are no more positive results. Crennel says the team will continue to prepare for their Week 9 game at Jacksonville and will look into using a mix of defensive linemen and practice squad linebackers to help fill the void from losing a trio of linebackers.

"My message to the players was, you know, it's an unfortunate thing that's happened, that we have to lose these players for this game," Crennel said. "But they're part of our family and we're going support them and then the other guys have to be ready to step up. Whoever we determine those other guys are, they have to be ready to step up and perform at a good level for us."

The Texans are scheduled to travel to Jacksonville on Sunday to face the Jaguars. Kickoff is set for 12 noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.

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