According to three people familiar with the situation, the league believed Saturday evening that there will be no further issues and the game will be played. One of those people said it “doesn’t appear to be an issue.” Another was even more confident, saying there are “no issues.” But two others with knowledge of the matter were more cautious, with one saying there was “nothing solid yet” and another indicating that Sunday morning’s test results “will guide it all.”
The Falcons placed Terrell on their covid-19 reserve list Saturday and said he will miss Sunday’s game. The team declined to confirm reports that Terrell, a first-round pick in the NFL draft in April, tested positive for the coronavirus in Friday’s testing, the results of which were available Saturday. Terrell participated in Friday’s practice, according to the team’s injury report, but reportedly did not participate in Saturday’s walk-through.
NFL players, along with coaches and some team staffers, wear tracking devices while inside team facilities to assist with contact tracing. As of Saturday, the Falcons had not added any other players to their covid-19 reserve list, which is both for players who test positive and for those who have been in contact with someone known to have the virus.
Terrell becomes the second NFL player to miss a game this season because of a coronavirus issue. An unidentified player was withheld from his team’s game last Sunday after exhibiting covid-19 symptoms that morning, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. That player had tested negative the previous day.
Players, coaches and certain team staffers are tested daily for the virus except on game days, under the protocols developed by the league and the NFLPA. Any player with an inconclusive result from testing on the day before a game can be cleared to play with a negative result in rapid-result testing on game day, provided the result is available at least two hours before kickoff.