A New Orleans Saints player tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, but follow-up testing came back negative, and Sunday’s Saints-Lions game will be played as scheduled, according to multiple reports Sunday morning.
The follow-up testing led officials to determine that Saturday’s positive test was a false positive.
All tests on close contacts of the player also reportedly came back negative.
At this point, Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET game between the Lions and Saints in Detroit remains unaffected. A positive coronavirus test could have forced another scheduling tweak for a league that is facing the realities of playing a season during a pandemic.
NFL's Week 4 pandemic headache
For a while, it looked like the NFL was, against all odds, pulling it off. The league completed three weeks without any coronavirus interruptions.
Then Week 4 began.
First, the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings had to shut down their facilities after several members of the Titans tested positive following their Week 3 game in Minneapolis. Sixteen members of the Titans in total have tested positive, though the Vikings appear to have avoided infection.
The Titans’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4 was eventually postponed to Week 7.
Days later, positive tests on both the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, forced the NFL to delay another game to at least Monday or Tuesday. Star QB Cam Newton was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list on Saturday. In a statement, the team said a Patriots player tested positive for the virus. No other Patriots players have reportedly tested positive, so that game might at least avoid a multi-week delay.
And there is no guarantee that these are going to be the final COVID-19 episodes of a season that is suddenly looking quite vulnerable.
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