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NFL Has Brief COVID-19 ‘Scare’

Allegiant Stadium

The National Football League had a crisis over the weekend surrounding several positive COVID-19 tests.

On Monday morning, the NFL officially cleared all of those players and staff members that initially tested positive.

BioReference Lab in New Jersey is one of the official testing partners of the NFL, and that company announced that it had a brief contamination when preparing the tests. This resulted in at least 77 positive tests to come back over the weekend, and it affected 11 different teams from around the league.

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All of the 77 samples were then retested, and all of the tests came back negative, ending what was an anxious few days for teams and the league in general. Point-of-care tests were also conducted on Sunday, and those 77 players all tested negative through that route as well.

The NFL and NFLPA have worked together to develop new health and safety protocols, and all 77 players that briefly had a positive test can resume team activities on Monday. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was one of the most notable players to sit out over the weekend.

BioReference conducts all of the COVID-19 testing for the league, and they have five labs set up throughout the country to process tests. The lab in New Jersey was the only one that produced these false-positive tests over the weekend.

The NFL took immediate action when these positive tests started to show up, but ultimately it led to healthy players being forced to miss some practice time. The Minnesota Vikings (12), New York Jets (10), and the Chicago Bears (nine) were hit hardest by the contamination.

There are just three players remaining on the COVID-19 list, and the league has seen an extremely low amount of positive tests since training camps have begun. The league is still planning to move forward with their regular schedule, but this episode over the weekend had everyone on high alert.

The NFL and the NFLPA are working to finalize regular-season testing protocols, and a deadline has been set for Sept. 5. Both sides are discussing if they wish to continue their daily testing, or set a specific number of tests throughout the week.

Raiders Break In Allegiant Stadium

The Las Vegas Raiders have officially broken in the new Allegiant Stadium with a padded practice on Friday afternoon. The Raiders treated their first practice at the new stadium as a “fake” scrimmage with pumped-in crowd noise blaring through the speakers.

The 2020 season will be the first for the Raiders in Las Vegas after spending the last 20 years in Oakland. The team called Oakland home from 1960-1981, and then again from 1995-2019. Los Angeles was the home for the Raiders from 1982-1994.

Earlier this month, the Las Vegas Raiders announced that fans would not be allowed to attend any home games during the 2020 season. Owner Mark Davis addressed the team after their practice on Friday in what he hopes is a successful season for the Raiders.

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