When Dez Bryant produced a positive COVID-19 test on Dec. 8, the Ravens were not allowed to activate another player that night to replace Bryant. The deadline for submitting the active roster 90 minutes prior to kickoff had already passed before Bryant was deactivated.
The Ravens defeated Dallas Cowboys, 34-17, despite being one player short. However, if another team faces that same situation moving forward, an allowance will be made for another player to be activated, according to Tom Pellisero of NFL Network.
Pelissero shared a memo that was issued Wednesday that announced a change to the NFL's game day procedure. The memo said that teams can now activate another player to replace someone who has tested positive on game day, or has been deemed a high-risk close contact, up to 30 minutes before kickoff.
The replacement player would be someone who had been deemed inactive, or someone eligible to be called up from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement. Many around the league had advocated for this kind of rule adjustment, and Pelissero referred to the change as "The Dez Bryant Rule."
Bryant was activated Tuesday after spending five days on the Reserve/COVID-19 after he missed both the Cowboys game and Monday night's victory over the Cleveland Browns.