Chiefs center Daniel Kilgore is expected to be cleared to play in the Super Bowl, though he’s currently on the reserve/COVID list as a close contact after his barber tested positive for coronavirus. Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs center Daniel Kilgore’s new Twitter profile picture shows his freckled face, his greying beard and half of his head shaved bald, a funny joke that could have turned into a tricky situation ahead of the Super Bowl.

Kilgore was sitting in a chair getting a haircut when his barber was notified that he tested positive for COVID-19, according to several media reports.

He and receiver Demarcus Robinson, who received a haircut from the same barber a day earlier, were placed on the reserve/COVID list as close contacts, but continually have tested negative for the virus, according to, and are on track to be available Sunday for the Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Both Kilgore and Robinson were wearing masks and the barber had tested negative consecutively for five days before entering the Chiefs’ practice facility. But he took a rapid test Sunday as a precaution, which yielded the positive result.

ESPN reported that more than 20 Chiefs players and staff members – including quarterback Patrick Mahomes – were scheduled to get a haircut by that barber the same day. He finished cutting Kilgore’s hair before leaving, according to the report.

NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills said in a video conference that the Chiefs took “prompt and direct action,” and that the NFL worked quickly to find any other high-risk contacts. He’s confident that the situation was contained.


“At this point, we feel like we’re in a good position with that and we’ll just continue to monitor it,” Sills said.

STATE OF THE LEAGUE: The many lessons learned from 2020 will be needed as the NFL moves forward, Commissioner Roger Goodell noted in his annual state of the league news conference ahead of the Super Bowl.

Held before both in-person and virtual audiences and staged outside of the arena that is home to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, Goodell said developments ranging from dealing with the coronavirus pandemic to minority coaching hires to scheduling to the NFL’s working relationship with the players’ union all will carry forward as major topics.

“I don’t know when normal will occur again or if normal will occur again,” he said. “I know we have learned to work in a very difficult environment, and we will do it again. That is one of the things we learned … hearing clubs and the NFLPA saying our relationship has never been stronger. I interpret that as a trust that has been built here that will take us forward and will be the long-lasting legacy of this season.”

That legacy, on the positive side, includes something the other major sports leagues and organizations couldn’t manage: playing a full season, uninterrupted, with the championship game on time despite COVID-19 issues.

“This was an extraordinary collective effort,” Goodell said. “There’s so many people that had to work together to get this done. There were doubters, people that didn’t believe we could do it, we had a lot of unknowns ourselves. We believed that staying on schedule and working to try to get 256 games done as we try to say, ’avoid the asterisk,’ I think we were able to do that.”


But the negative part of the legacy, one that has plagued a league made up of 70% minority players, has been the head coach hiring cycle. Goodell said the league is not satisfied with only two minorities hired for seven head coach openings: The New York Jets hired Robert Saleh, the first NFL coach who is known to be Muslim and the son of Lebanese immigrants, and Houston hired David Culley, making him only the league’s third Black current head coach.

“We had two minority coaches hired and it was not what we expected,” the commissioner said, “and not what we expect going forward.”

49ERS: George Kittle dismissed talk about the team possibly trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the way he sheds tacklers after making catches.

“I think it’s speculation. I think it’s rumors. I think it’s chatter,” Kittle said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “I think people on social media like to talk about things that I don’t know if they have any idea about. Being in the building, in the locker room, I don’t really hear anything in there. So I’m just confident my quarterback, when he’s healthy, he’s a hell of a football player.”

Kittle, a two-time Pro Bowl tight end and 2019 All-Pro, said he hasn’t talked to Garoppolo about it. The 49ers reportedly had interest in Matthew Stafford before Detroit traded him to the Los Angeles Rams.

“I think it’s his second or third year of dealing with these exact same rumors every single offseason,” Kittle said. “And he just comes back to work and he just goes back and he plays and not worried about it. I think Jimmy’s a grown man and he can deal with that. And, he’s a hell of a quarterback.”

Garoppolo has two years remaining on his five-year, $137.5 million contract. He has a no-trade clause for the 2021 league year.

The Niners went from losing to Kansas City in the Super Bowl last season to 6-10. Injuries were a major factor. Garoppolo, Kittle, cornerback Richard Sherman, edge rusher Nick Bosa, running back Raheem Mostert and receiver Deebo Samuel all missed at least half the season.

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