UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: Bills QB Josh Allen is among the players who had a false positive, according to Adam Schefter. He is sitting out Sunday’s practice, but is expected back at Monday’s practice after going through the health and safety protocols.
The NFL has appeared to make progress in keeping Covid-19 at bay during training camp, but it appears to be dealing with a new issue. Several team had positives tests on Saturday, according to NFL PR, but many of them are believed to be false positives due to lab irregularities.
The Bills, Jets, Browns, and Steelers are among a group of teams dealing with a “substantial” amount of positives from Saturday, with Albert Breer reporting it is less than 100. Breer also reported rapid tests taken on Sunday all came back negative for the teams with whom he spoke.
Update: The Bears had 9 false positives and the Vikings had 12, per Adam Schefter.
The NFL is investigating the irregularities at one of its several national laboratories. Not all teams are dealing with this because the labs are geographic in nature. The teams that are facing the positives are being cautious and sidelining players for the time being while confirming false positives.
This is a significant issue the NFL will have to sort out before the season starts. If a team has players test positive on game day, it could force the league to move games around while sorting out if any of the tests are false positives. As Pro Football Talk noted, no fans for many stadiums will offer flexibility for moving games around on a given day or even from Sunday to Monday if needed.
The Jets had 10 false positives yesterday, per Gase. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 23, 2020
Browns dealing with multiple positive test results pic.twitter.com/Yob9QpS9vb— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 23, 2020
#Bills GM Brandon Beane on #Zoom: Bills are “one of 10-11 teams” dealing with lab/COVID-19 issue that league identified earlier. Said #BUF “will be missing some key players at practice” as result. Considers this “more of a lab issue” also approach is “very cautious.”— Kim Jones (@KimJonesSports) August 23, 2020