Sports | August 23, 2020 2:31 pm

Six NFL Teams Postpone Team Activities Due to Irregular COVID-19 Test Results

The positive test results came from one New Jersey lab, raising questions of potential mistakes

NFL practices testing
The Chicago Bears run during training camp at Halas Hall on August 18, 2020 in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Nam Y. Huh-Pool/Getty Images

As the NFL continues to gear up for the 2020 season, the league hit a speed bump just three weeks away from the season opener. On Sunday, the NFL announced that there had been a series of positive coronavirus test results coming out of a lab in New Jersey, and that it was investigating for any possible “irregularities.”

In a statement, the league said that the individual teams are investigating to confirm or rule out any positive results. The NFL also noted that other testing sites had not seen similar results.

Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positives tests from each of the clubs serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey. 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.


According to USA Today, Bills general manager Brandon Beane estimates that “10 or 11” teams could be affected by the test results from the lab, BioReference. In the meantime, six teams have already decided to postpone practices while they figure out the situation: the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The teams are all handling the situation differently, with some isolating the players who tested positive, while others postponed their practices to Sunday afternoon.

This isn’t the first time the NFL has had potential irregularities with their test results as they try to start the season on time. Last month, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford received a false positive test result for COVID-19. Whether this new wave of tests forces the NFL to change its protocols remains to be seen, but with so little time before opening day, the clock is ticking for a solution to ensure player health and safety.

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Read the full story at USA Today