COVID-19 Test Irregularities, False Positives Causing NFL Teams to Take Precautionary Measures

Jordan Cohn
August 23, 2020 - 11:12 am

After Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had to deal with all of the ramifications of a positive COVID-19 test, it was revealed that he never actually had the virus after all.

The NFL community was hoping that this scenario, which put the entire Stafford family under a lot of distress, would be a one-time occurrence. After all, what good are all these coronavirus tests if you can't trust their reliability?

Unfortunately, Stafford and the Lions aren't alone, and it seems that the culprit this time is one testing lab in New Jersey which has differed significantly from other labs in terms of test results.

Among the teams that are taking precautions and that have received false positive results are the Chicago Bears, whose nerves were understandably rattled following a recent batch of test results.

The Bears are joined by the Cleveland Browns, who chose to delay practices and other team activities in order to remain as safe as possible.

However, good news came out of Cleveland in the afternoon, as every player who received a positive test came back negative in the next round of testing.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport mentioned that it was not just limited to these two teams, saying that "several teams received several positive results," all from the aforementioned New Jersey lab. However, he's spinning the story with some optimism, calling it a "test run" for the regular season in case a similar situation occurs.

Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane says that the Bills are one of the many teams affected, and that a few players will be sitting out of practice due to these positive test results (via Maddy Glab). In addition, he mentioned that there are nine or 10 other teams who have been impacted by these irregular test results.

The Jets are one of those organizations, according to head coach Adam Gase. Brian Costello of WFAN shared what Gase informed the media.

After the news about the Jets' results broke, another team was affected in a similar quantity.

Head coach Mike Zimmer said that eight players, one coach, and three staff members were the recipients of the positive test results, and that they'll be held out of practice on Sunday (via ESPN's Courtney Cronin). He also shared Rapoport's glass-half-full perspective about the timing of the incident.

The Patriots also learned of false positive tests, according to reporter Jeff Howe, who says that there were several absences from practice as a result.

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