EAST RUTHERFORD (N.J.) -- After being absent for several days due to false positive COVID-19 test results, Saquon Barkley, New York Giants runningback, and safety Xavier McKinney have returned to the team. They were activated on Friday morning from the reserve/COVID roster.
McKinney was in practice and will play Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. Barkley was present in the building, but he didn't practice due to an ankle injury that had kept him out of the last three games. Barkley is likely to miss another game due to the false positives that limited his chances of getting on the field.
Coach Joe Judge stated that a guy who has been out for several weeks, "Yeah, we'd love to see him on-the field and making sure we can ensure how he moves and get out there and safely stay on the fields," before practice.
The Giants (2-6), which have a bye next Wednesday, are expected to bring back wide receiver Kenny Golladay(knee) against Raiders. Golladay missed three of the previous games. On Thursday, he practiced his first game since the injury.
Barkley's possible absence caps an exciting week that saw coaches and players constantly moving around due to false positives. As the team waits to confirm that Brightwell's result is incorrect, Gary Brightwell, running back, was absent Friday.
One confirmed positive case was reported by the Giants, which was Burton Burns, running backs coach. Twelve of the 13 positive results Tuesday were later disregarded. Judge ruled that Barkley, McKinney, and starting left guard Matt Skura had false positives. There were also "good amounts" of false positives Thursday.
In an interview with NFL Network, Dr. Allen Sills, chief medical officer of the NFL, stated Thursday that the league was investigating irregularities in the Giants' testing lab. The Giants stopped using the rapid tests, which kept generating incorrect results.
Bio-Reference Laboratories' (BRL), is seeing an unusually high amount of false positives when they use the Rapid Mesa Test at their facility. The Giants released a statement Thursday saying that all positive Mesa test results in the past two days were negative by PCR testing, with the exception of one individual. "The laboratory works with experts to find the cause of the problem.
The NFL and BRL will be closely monitoring the situation. Temporarily, we have stopped the Rapid Mesa Test's use and will only be administering PCR tests.
Barkley was unable to recover from the loss of time. Barkley was unable to get on the field for practice or rehab his ankle in the hospital for several days.
Barkley was last week at practice, working side by side with trainers. Because of his false positive, he spent an excessive amount of time at home and didn't even reach that point.
Judge stated that Judge had assured him that he was moving in the right direction. Judge said, "But again, it's because he is a very competitive player. He wants to be out on the field competing with his teammates."