The all-clear came after several days of coronavirus-related disruptions affecting a variety of NFL teams. The league rescheduled a series of games the previous two weekends and teams continued to experience issues in recent days.
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Sunday morning that they’d had no new positive test results and were set to play the Detroit Lions as scheduled in Jacksonville. That came after the Jaguars worked remotely Saturday following a positive test result by a practice squad player. Later Saturday, the Jaguars placed defensive end Josh Mauro and 12 of the 16 members of their practice squad on their covid-19 reserve list.
“The team has received zero new positive tests since yesterday, and all members of our active roster have received multiple negative tests and are eligible to play in today’s game against the Lions,” the Jaguars said in a written statement released Sunday morning.
The covid-19 reserve list is for players who test positive for the coronavirus and those identified through contact tracing as having been exposed to the virus. There was a flurry late Saturday of teams placing players on that list.
The New England Patriots placed running back Sony Michel, guard Shaq Mason and defensive end Derek Rivers on their covid-19 reserve list Saturday. The Atlanta Falcons placed defensive lineman John Cominsky on theirs. The Baltimore Ravens did the same with defensive tackle Brandon Williams.
Yet with all games being played Sunday, perhaps the NFL’s new approach of isolating players for five days after “high-risk” contact to those who test positive may have headed off some larger problems.
The league also said last week that, with cold and flu season at hand, it expected more players and coaches to be withheld from practices and games for displaying symptoms, even if that is accompanied by a negative coronavirus test. The NFL said it would proceed cautiously in such instances and wait for further testing and evaluation to rule out a coronavirus case with greater certainty. In those cases, an individual must have two consecutive negative coronavirus tests 24 hours apart to return to team activities.
The Patriots and Denver Broncos are to play Sunday in Foxborough, Mass., after that game was postponed by a week because of multiple positive tests by the Patriots. Quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore participated in the Patriots’ practice Thursday after being activated from the team’s covid-19 reserve list. Both had tested positive for the coronavirus. Newton’s positive test was confirmed Oct. 3 by a person familiar with the result. He missed the Patriots’ loss at Kansas City two days later. Gilmore played in that game but two days later confirmed via social media that he’d tested positive.
The Patriots reopened their facility Saturday after working remotely Friday following a positive test result. The team placed offensive lineman James Ferentz on its covid-19 reserve list at that point. The Broncos announced Saturday that running backs coach Curtis Modkins had tested positive for the coronavirus and would not accompany the team on its trip to the New England game.
The Atlanta Falcons reopened their facility Friday and are scheduled to play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis. The Falcons had closed their facility Thursday after a new positive test result.
The Indianapolis Colts reopened their facility Friday afternoon after it was closed that morning for four initially positive test results that, according to the team, came back negative upon retesting. The Colts are scheduled to play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in Indianapolis.