The New York Jets were forced to cancel a Saturday walk-through after a surge of COVID-19 tests that were revealed to be false positives.
The New York Jets were one of several NFL teams that had their training camp proceedings affected by a testing issue at a New Jersey BioReference lab the NFL has used for COVID-19 testing. New York was originally reported to have 10 positive tests, but these later came back as false positives, head coach Adam Gase explained on Sunday.
“We had just started our squad meeting. I was informed of it,” Gase said, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Everything happened really fast as far as what was being told to us. Our guys did a great job as far as getting in touch with the league office, following all the right protocols, making sure we were doing all the right things. Our guys, they jumped on it quick, as soon as we found out.”
The Jets were forced to shut down a walk-through, as well as their facility, on Saturday night but returned to summer action on Sunday. Overall, 11 teams were affected by the procedures. The NFL announced in a Sunday statement that they are working with BioReference to look over the process. Elsewhere in the state, a report from Kevin Seifert of ESPN indicated that the New York Giants were revealed to have no players test positive, but they were awaiting the results of support staff members.
Their 2020 season is still on pace to go on as scheduled, though questions remain over what will happen if positive tests are reported in the lead-up to games. Unlike other the procedures seen in the NHL, NBA, WNBA, and NWSL, the NFL is staging their season in home stadiums, outside of a bubble. Such concerns about the potential for positive tests by gameday were raised by Jets linebacker Avery Williamson after the weekend’s chaos.
“It’s kind of crazy, you know,” Williamson said in Costello’s report. “Just thinking like what if it happens before a game or something? This could happen to any team. It’s crazy. You don’t know what’s going on. There’s nothing you can really do. If somebody has it and you don’t know it and you’re practicing against them and stuff.”
“I just hope that we can stay as clean as possible. I hope that it stays just false positives.”
Players who test positive are subject to quarantine and must present two negative tests before returning to practice.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags