Sunday morning at 2:51 am, the Chicago Bears NFL coach Matt Nagy received a phone call. Knowing that any call at that hour would mean trouble, Nagy braced himself for what he was about to hear. He listened as Andre Tucker, the Bears infection control officer told him about members of his team that tested positive for Covid-19.
Being one month into training camp, Nagy was both shocked and disappointed as he received the new cases on his team. These cases would question the teams ability to play and also question the likelihood of the 2020 regular season to start. After being so careful during the duration of the Bears training camp, Nagy pondered how this could have happened to his team. According to ESPN, Nagy said “My initial, five-second gut reaction when I was told was just pure disappointment and frustration. It’s hard when you hear that, because everyone is doing such a great job of doing everything that we possibly can in our control to prevent stuff like this. When you hear this, you think, ‘Wow, what’s next?'” he continued. Little did he know, 10 other teams across the league were experiencing the same horrifying phone call and dilemma.
The NFL was faced with a crucial situation as 77 tests across the whole league came back positive. They started to question whether the season would happen with this many confirmed cases. Not to mention all of this chaos took place before the start of the season. The NFL was planning for the worst when they realized that all 77 tests had come from the same lab in New Jersey. These positive tests were then tested again and each and every one came back negative. The NFL’s health and safety team announced that the tests were indeed false positives. The whole league let out a sigh of relief as the future of their season got a whole lot brighter. Many coaches admitted to being happy this happened now rather than during the regular season. Positive testing like this would have sent the league into turmoil. Once a player tests positive, they will be immediately isolated. Because of this mishap, the NFL has announced that every positive test will be followed by two more tests — one a traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the other a rapid-response — in a 24-hour period. If both return negative, the individual is reinstated to the team facility.
All precautions are being taken to limit the amount of players and staff to contract this Covid-19 virus. The NFL is doing their best to put into place rules and regulations to eliminate any further cases to occur. These false positives shook the league and made them reevaluate their testing procedures. The league, the players, the staff and the fans all hope to remain safe and have a successful 16 game regular season this year!