UPDATE: The NFL has released a statement about the testing issue. It reads as follows:
Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positive tests from each of the same 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 measures as outlined in the NFL-NFLPA’s health and safety protocols to include contact tracing, isolation of individuals and temporarily adjusting the schedule were appropriate. The other laboratories used for NFL testing have not had similar results.
Original story follows.
It has been some time since the Minnesota Vikings had to place anyone on their reserve/COVID-19 list, as they have had no players on the list for about a week now. However, there has been a concerning development coming out of Eagan today.
Coach Zimmer says that eight players, one coach and three staff members have presumptive positive COVID-19 tests and will not participate in today’s practice.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 23, 2020
“We’re just following protocol and doing what the league gives us the guidance with at this point.”
The team has announced that twelve members of the team. . .eight players, three staff members, and a coach. . .have all had “presumptive positive” tests come back. Those players will not take part in Sunday’s practice.
However, the reason that this might not be cause for a great deal of alarm is that there are several teams that have suddenly seen a jump in positive tests. The Chicago Bears had nine tests come back as positive, the New York Jets had ten, and as many as 10 or 11 teams in total have been impacted as well.
The problem lies in the fact that all of the positive results have come from samples that were sent to one specific lab in New Jersey. ESPN has pointed out that other labs run by BioReference, who processes the samples, have not had these same results. Of the more than 3,000 players that have participated in NFL Training Camps so far this season, there are currently only four on the COVID-19 list. The Vikings have had nine players on the COVID-19 list at various times during this preseason, but none are on it as of now.
The teams that have been involved with the potential false positives are taking precautions with their players. The Vikings, as mentioned, will be quarantining their players and having them take part in meetings virtually.
We will have more on this once as more news becomes available. For now, it doesn’t appear on the surface that there is any reason to panic, and hopefully that will remain the case.