Some NFL Teams Canceling Activities After Irregularities in COVID-19 Results
Some NFL teams have altered their training camp plans for Sunday based on "irregularities in results" from COVID-19 testing that took place Saturday for evaluation at a New Jersey lab.
Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network provided a statement from the league:
Here's a look at updated news from team and national reporters:
- Chicago Bears: Practice delayed until 1:30 local time (Adam Hoge of NBC Chicago) t
- Cleveland Browns: Practice canceled (Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network) t
- Green Bay Packers: Practice taking place as scheduled (Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated) t
- New York Giants: Practice remains scheduled for 1 p.m. local time (Ralph Vacchiano of SNY) t
- New York Jets: Practice took place as scheduled (Vacchiano) t
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Practicing as scheduled (Jenna Laine of ESPN)
The NFL opened training camps on time in July after moving the entire offseason program into a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic. The preseason was canceled to limited large-scale interactions until the beginning of the regular season in September.
Here's some further information coming out of Sunday's developments:
A statement from the Cleveland Browns:"After consistently receiving encouraging results from daily testing since returning to the facility in July, the Cleveland Browns' COVID-19 testing process conducted yesterday initially indicates multiple individual presumptive positive cases that include players, coaches and support staff. Although, we have received indication from the NFL that they are investigating irregularities in lab results that have also impacted other clubs, out of an abundance of caution, we will immediately follow our comprehensive Infectious Disease Emergency Response plan and pause any activity in our building today and conduct meetings virtually. "As per plan procedure, the team is also diligently reviewing proximity data for contact tracing and instructed self-isolation for those who tested positive and others as appropriate even though they all remain asymptomatic. Our facility is currently undergoing a thorough deep-cleaning and disinfecting process and is closed to all personnel for the day. We will provide updates as testing results are confirmed and more information is available."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in June the league understood more positive tests would arise and stated the league was prepared to adjust plans as needed.
"And again, we expect we are going to have positive tests," Goodell told reporters. "That is part of the increased testing that we will be going through."
He added: "The protocols are stringent. They are designed to be that because they are for the safety of our players and personnel, including coaches. We'll evolve as the circumstances change. We will be changing our protocols appropriately."
Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, described the league's efforts as a "very ambitious testing program" later in June.
So far, the NFL has managed to avoid any widespread outbreaks within its 32 teams.
The 2020 regular season is scheduled to kick off Sept. 10 when the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium.
Super Bowl LV is set for Feb. 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.