NFL’s first coronavirus testing hiccup affects multiple teams

The NFL has hit its first snag in coronavirus testing.

Saturday’s round of COVID-19 testing in the NFL produced a significant increase in positive tests and the league is looking into the matter, doing its best to Identify whether they are legitimate results since they all came from the same laboratory in New Jersey.

The Jets were among the teams impacted. Head coach Adam Gase said Sunday the team had 10 false-positive tests on Saturday, which led to the Jets cancelling their scheduled Saturday night walkthrough. All the false-positive cases came back negative and the Jets went ahead with practice Sunday morning.

The Bears, Browns, Bills, Steelers and Vikings were also affected. The Bears had nine players/staff members test positive, but later confirmed all of those to be false positives. They moved practice back from the morning until 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Browns canceled their Sunday practice out of caution after they had several positive test results and closed their practice facility while it underwent a deep cleaning and disinfectant process. The Bills also moved their Sunday workout back while needing to hold out some players, while the Steelers six players miss practice Saturday to adhere to protocol, but all six were returning to team meetings Sunday. The Vikings had eight players, one coach and three staff members with apparent false-positive tests, coach Mike Zimmer said.

“Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positive tests from each of the clubs serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey,” the NFL said in a statement. “We are working with our testing partner, BioReference, to investigate these results, while the clubs work to confirm or rule out the positive tests. Clubs are taking immediate precautionary measures as outlined in the NFL-NFLPA’s health and safety protocols to include contact tracing, isolation of individuals and temporarily adjusting the schedule, where appropriate. The other laboratories used for NFL testing have not had similar results.”

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