As NFL training camps get set to begin, rookie Canadian defensive tackle Michael Hoecht has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Los Angeles Rams.
Reserve/COVID-19 designations exist for players who have either tested positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who contracted it. According to 3DownNation’s John Hodge, Hoecht’s designation is the latter.
“I’m told Hoecht has *not* tested positive for COVID-19. This is a precautionary move. He will be tested again tomorrow and be reinstated by Sunday if it comes back negative,” Hodge wrote on Twitter after discussions with sources close to Hoecht.
Should the test come back negative, that will lessen the blow for the undrafted free agent trying to make the team with no pre-season games and new limitations on contact in practice. If he returns, Hoecht is set to be one of three Canadians featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks while they film the Rams and Chargers this year.
Hoecht signed with Los Angeles after going unselected in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Brown University. The native of Oakville, Ontario, who spent a significant portion of his childhood in Ohio, recorded 158 total tackles and 17 sacks over his Ivy League career. The Ottawa Redblacks own Hoecht’s CFL rights after selecting him 10th overall in the second round of the 2020 CFL Draft.
Hoecht attracted scouts’ attentions with extraordinary athleticism for his six-foot-four, 295-pound frame, as demonstrated at his virtual pro day. He ran a 4.65 forty-yard dash while putting up 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press — a solid combination of speed and strength.
Hoecht is the second player with a CFL connection to be placed on a reserve/COVID-19 list, after former Edmonton receiver Duke Williams was placed on the Bills’ list. Meanwhile, Canadian doctor turned Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was also the first player to opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Once cleared for return to action, Hoecht is an intriguing talent worth keeping a close eye on.