Skip to main content

NFL changes COVID-19 testing protocol following Matthew Stafford drama

Vincent Frank
NFL schedule release
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s going to be a process to make sure that the COVID-19 testing protocols around the NFL are up to snuff with the 2020 regular season slated to start in about a month.

One of the biggest recent issues was the false-positive Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford received last weekend. Detroit placed him on the reserve/COVID-19 list despite the fact that he was not showing any symptoms and had not come into contact with someone who contracted the virus. Stafford’s wife, Kelly, blasted the NFL over this and what seem to be questionable protocols. Something has now been done about this.

NFL changes COVID-19 testing protocol

The league announced on Friday that if a player has no known confirmed infection, is asymptomatic but tests positive, he would only be given two more tests to to confirm. If these are negative, said player would not be considered infected.

Putting aside the technical terms, this changes the landscape as it relates to COVID-19 testing around the NFL. It also takes into account false-positives, which have increasingly become an issue around the United States. Previously, an “infected” player would have to test negative three consecutive times over a multi-day period.

There’s also good news on this front. The recent round of testing around the NFL showed only a 1% positive rate. That’s much lower than the general public.

Needless to say, it’s going to be hard to complete the 2020 NFL season outside of a bubble. We’ve seen some major issues around the MLB world. But things seem to be trending in the right direction here. At the very least, the NFL continues to adapt. That’s not a bad thing.