BOSTON (CBS) — When the Patriots were missing 11 players at Sunday’s practice, it raised some eyebrows. Now there is some clarity to those absences, though there are plenty of questions as well.
The Patriots were reportedly one of the teams to be hit with a rash of false-positive COVID-19 tests connected to a New Jersey lab, according to NFL Media’s Albert Breer. The test results were released on Saturday, and on Sunday morning, the Chicago Bears confirmed that all nine of the team’s positive tests were false positives.
Some more on the NFL testing issue …
• Total number of player positives is substantial, but under 100.
• Of the 10 or 11 teams, some had double-digit positives, others had 1 or 2.
• These players took rapid tests this AM. Teams I've talked to had all come back negative.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 23, 2020
The NFL to released the following statement regarding the situation:
Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positives tests from each of the clubs serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey. We are working with our testing partner, BioReference, to investigate these results, while the clubs work to confirm or rule out the positive tests. Clubs are taking immediate precautionary measures as outlined in the NFL-NFLPA’s health and safety protocols to include contact tracing, isolation of individuals and temporarily adjusting the schedule, where appropriate. The other laboratories used for NFL testing have not had similar results.
While the Bears postponed their practice until Sunday afternoon, the Patriots held theirs as planned. A total of 11 players were missing from the session — the most absences of camp so far — including five players who took part in Friday’s session. The Patriots had an off-day on Saturday.
Absent on Day 6 of camp: Stephon Gilmore, Adrian Phillips, Sony Michel, James White, Lamar Miller, DAngelo Ross, Michael Jackson, Jake Burt, JJ Taylor, Jeff Thomas, Beau Allen, Tashawn Bower
New: White, Jackson, Burt, Taylor and Thomas
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 23, 2020
Safety Adrian Phillips was not present at the start of practice, but he did come out to the field later in the session.
Also on the injury front, wide receiver N’Keal Harry returned to the field after missing a handful of sessions last week.