Report: Chiefs, Texans Players, Coaches, Staff All Tested Negative for COVID-19

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) passes as he is pressured by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) in the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

All players, coaches and staff members for the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs reportedly tested negative for COVID-19 following last Thursday night's NFL season-opening game.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday the only person to test positive was an Arrowhead Stadium groundskeeper who made no contact with players for either team.

The initial round of coronavirus testing represented a major hurdle for the NFL.

While other professional sports leagues like the NBA and NHL used a "bubble" format to resume play amid the pandemic, the NFL opted to play games at teams' home stadiums around the country. It's the same decision MLB made, but baseball features far less player-to-player contact.

The league will likely wait to see testing results from Sunday's and Monday's Week 1 games before getting overly confident its protocols are working, but the large-scale negative tests from the opener are great news.

In June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN's Mike Greenberg (via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe) the league was prepared to handle and play through some positive tests and that the key was avoiding a major outbreak within a team.

"All of our medical experts indicated that as testing becomes more prevalent, we are going to have positive tests," Goodell said. "The issue is, can we obviously prevent as many of those from happening, but in addition, treat them quickly, isolate them, and prevent them from impacting other personnel?"

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The league added a COVID-19 reserve list, which operates similarly to injured reserve without the time restriction for a return. Players who land on IR must stay there for at least three weeks. Once a player is medically cleared, he can immediately be reinstated from the coronavirus list.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson noted no new players were added to the COVID list between Monday and Wednesday in the immediate aftermath of the Week 1 games.

Week 2 kicks off Thursday night when the Cleveland Browns welcome the Cincinnati Bengals to FirstEnergy Stadium for an AFC North clash.