Report: All 77 COVID-19 Test Results Return Negative for 11 NFL TeamsAugust 24, 2020
Following concerns from teams over some irregularities in COVID-19 testing results, the NFL reportedly received good news after the tests were re-examined.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, 77 coronavirus tests from 11 different teams returned negative after being re-run by the testing lab in New Jersey.
Dr. Jon Cohen, executive chairman of the BioReference lab where the tests were examined, issued a statement about the likely cause of the false positives:
Statement from BioReference Executive Chairman Dr. Jon Cohen regarding NFL COVID testing. “Our investigation indicated that these were most likely false positive results, caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory.” https://t.co/RLIruWGM7X
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Sunday that several teams were altering or canceling football activities after results from the previous day's COVID tests serviced in the New Jersey lab came back positive:
Schefter noted the NFL uses five different labs across the country to service coronavirus testing for all 32 teams.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the league is working with the New Jersey testing lab to find a way to conduct re-tests immediately "so there is no lag time" to receive results in the future.
Per ESPN's Kevin Seifert, the NFL and NFL Players Association are still working to finalize game-day testing protocols when the regular season begins.
"One option is to cut off testing 48 hours prior to a game, to provide enough time to resolve any lingering questions," Seifert wrote.
Under the league's current health and safety protocols, teams have implemented daily temperature screenings and coronavirus testing.
The league and players association adjusted testing procedures earlier this month after Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list with what was later determined to be a false positive test.
The adjusted policy allows for Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees who return a positive test but are asymptomatic and have no known history of infection two additional tests in 24 hours. If those tests return negative, the person can resume football activities.
Per Sports Illustrated's Howard Balzer, the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list is currently at four players: Cincinnati wide receiver John Ross; Jacksonville tackle Ryan Pope; Miami cornerback Xavien Howard and Jets cornerback Bryce Hall.
When the NFL and NFLPA agreed to testing protocols in order to play this season, daily testing was originally going to occur for the first two weeks of training camp and move to every other day if the rate of positives was at or below 5 percent.
The NFLPA announced Aug. 12 daily testing will continue through at least Sept. 5.
Teams reported to training camp July 28, and the regular season is scheduled to begin Sept. 10 with the Houston Texans taking on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.