Colts' COVID-19 Tests Were False Positives; Week 6 Game vs. Bengals on Track

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2020

Indianapolis Colts logo on an equipment case on the sideline during an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 in Philadelphia. The Eagles won 26-24. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Indianapolis Colts have announced they're set to reopen team facilities Friday afternoon after closing them earlier in the day amid concerns about four positive COVID-19 test results.

A team statement noted the samples were retested and "confirmed negative":

Earlier Friday, the Colts released a statement on the initial tests, which came ahead of Sunday's Week 6 home game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium:

For now, the game is slated to move forward on schedule.

If the game is ultimately postponed, it'll likely move back one week while only affecting one other team (the Cleveland Browns), per Jay Morrison of The Athletic:

Indianapolis played Cleveland last week, suffering a 32-23 loss on the road.

The Browns haven't announced any new positive COVID-19 test results this week, but wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was sent home from practice with an undisclosed illness. Head coach Kevin Stefanski said it was the result of an "abundance of caution," not a positive test.

After being uninterrupted for the first three weeks, the NFL's schedule has been impacted by the coronavirus as of late. The Tennessee Titans returned to action Tuesday night after a hiatus that lasted over two weeks because of the league's first widespread coronavirus outbreak among a single team.

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The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots also dealt with smaller clusters of positive tests over the last few weeks that saw their Week 4 game delayed by a day. Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore, the two most prominent Pats to land on the reserve/COVID-19 list, have both cleared protocol and returned to practice this week.

Although the league has managed to maintain its typical 17-week regular-season schedule so far, reworking it for postponed games will become more difficult once bye weeks are no longer available.

The Colts' bye is currently set for Week 7, which is why moving the Bengals game would be straightforward. It's also possible the game could be delayed by a day or two.