Report: Washington Football Team Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19 Omicron Variant

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2021

Washington Football Team helmet sits on the field prior to an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
AP Photo/Mark Tenally

A Tier 3 employee of the Washington Football Team reportedly tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the employee "had limited contact with other members of the organization" and is not a player or member of the football operations group. A Football Team member confirmed Washington followed the NFL's protocols in place for receiving a positive test.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network added more context, noting Tier 3 staff members are not allowed close to the players given the protocols in place during the pandemic.

Pelissero also reported this is the first known case of the Omicron variant in the NFL, although a record 36 players went on the COVID-19 list Monday because of positive tests. There have been no cancellations or postponements of games this season despite the rising number of players who are now on the list.

Maggie Fox of CNN reported the World Health Organization issued a technical briefing on the Omicron variant that said "It is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low, but also appears to spread more quickly than the Delta variant in other countries where the incidence of Delta is high, such as in the United Kingdom."

As for Washington, it announced it placed defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, linebacker David Mayo, defensive end William Bradley-King and tight end Temarrick Hemingway on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.

The Football Team is 6-7 following Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The defeat to their NFC East rivals ended a four-game winning streak, although they are still in playoff position with the No. 7 seed in the conference. They face the 6-7 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in a critical game with wild-card implications.