National Football League
NFL Confirms False-Positives
National Football League

NFL Confirms False-Positives

Updated Aug. 24, 2020 6:15 p.m. ET

The NFL cleared all 77 positive coronavirus samples across 11 teams over the weekend, in what its New Jersey testing lab called an "isolated contamination during test preparation."

All test results have now been deemed negative.

The individuals who received false-positive results can resume normal football activities on Monday.

On Sunday, BioReference Laboratories reported the elevated number of positive COVID-19 test results for NFL players and personnel across multiple clubs.


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, as well as five of his teammates, sat out Sunday's practice due to false-positive test results.

The Chicago Bears were one of the teams that altered football activities – moving practice to Sunday afternoon –after producing nine positive tests among players and staff.

The team conducted additional testing and believes those tests were all false-positives. 

Chicago released a statement:

The Cleveland Browns also released a statement, adjusting their schedule to virtual meetings, due to positive tests. They did not state the number of positive tests within the organization.

The New York Jets had 10 false-positive results, according to Adam Schefter, and went ahead with practice on Sunday.

The NFL uses BioReference, with five labs across the nation, to conduct its COVID-19 tests. The New Jersey location was the only one to produce the false-positive results.

The Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs were unaffected, and continued Sunday morning practice as usual.

Over 100,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted since the start of training camp, with a positivity rate of less than one percent.

The 23,260 tests administered to athletes from Aug. 12-20 had zero positive results, and only 6 of 35,137 tests for personnel came back positive.

As of Monday morning, only four NFL players were listed on the COVID-19 list.


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