NFL suffers setback with COVID-19 testing

NFL football on field during 2020 season
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With just three weeks remaining until the first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season, the NFL experienced a major setback with its COVID-19 testing process this weekend that has caused a flurry of problems.

The NFL’s COVID-19 testing protocols have been a success to this point during training camp with very few positive tests and more players coming off the reserve list. Unfortunately, things took a turn this weekend with the league’s latest announcement.

NFL announces setback with COVID-19 test results

After committing a staggering amount of money towards COVID-19 tests, the NFL announced it is experiencing problems. On Sunday, the league released a statement revealing it received a wave of positive tests for numerous clubs that sent their results to a laboratory in New Jersey.

The NFL partnered with BioReference Laboratories to oversee more than 100,000 tests conducted among league personnel. The NFL originally anticipated going through more than 40,000 coronavirus tests each week before ending its daily testing of all players. However, the league later agreed with the NFLPA to extend daily testing until early September.

Unfortunately, the setback comes just days after the league was riding a wave of momentum into the 2020 season.

The Kansas City Chiefs recently held a practice in front of fans. Meanwhile, team executives, star players and league officials are confident a full season will be played.

Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns suspend practice due to COVID-19 setback

The setback with the NFL’s COVID-19 testing protocols has already had a direct impact on several teams. At a time when there were already concerns about competitive advantages, the league could now face even more problems.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bears suspended practice on Sunday morning after discovering several of their personnel had positive test results from New Jersey. While the results were later deemed to be false positive, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it caused delays in the club’s preparation for the upcoming season.

Multiple other teams have also been impacted by the setback, including the Chicago Bears. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Chicago suspended its practice after learning about several positive tests.

The NFL will need to solve this issue quickly before things spiral further out of control. Whereas there was once extreme confidence in the testing system, players and coaches could now have renewed concerned regarding their safety.