NFL: Several teams cancel training after positive COVID-19 tests

NFL: New York Jets-Training Camp
New York Jets offensive linemen participate in drills during training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Several NFL teams canceled or rescheduled training sessions on Sunday after a single laboratory returned a number of positive tests for COVID-19, the league has said.

BioReference in New Jersey sent back 10 false-positive coronavirus tests to the New York Jets while the Chicago Bears pushed back training from Sunday morning to the afternoon.

Initial testing had revealed that nine players and staff members had tested positive but the results later turned out to be false positives, and the team put off training until the afternoon “out of an abundance of caution”, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The NFL said the clubs were taking precautionary measures while working to either confirm or rule out the positive tests.

“Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positives tests from each of the clubs serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey,” the league said in a statement.  

“We are working with our testing partner, BioReference, to investigate these results.

“Clubs are taking immediate precautionary measures… 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.”

Earlier this month, a Detroit Lions player and Los Angeles Chargers staff member also registered false positives for COVID-19, prompting the league to update its protocols.

Under the latest guidelines, players or staff who test positive but are asymptomatic must have two confirmatory tests the day after returning a positive COVID-19 result.

If both confirmatory tests are negative, the individuals can rejoin team activities.

With additional reporting from Joe Pantorno