Early into training-camp sessions, it appears NFL players are following health and safety protocols and doing everything possible to avoid coronavirus outbreaks within squads.
As ESPN’s Kevin Seifert explained, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills told reporters during a Wednesday conference call that the league had conducted 109,075 COVID-19 tests through Tuesday, and that 0.46% of those tests returned positive results among players, coaches and staff members.
Dr. Sills said that the positive rate for players has thus far been 0.81%, and that he is currently unaware of any “serious” illnesses experienced by league employees.
“The intake numbers, we were pleasantly surprised at how few positive tests we had,” Sills explained. “And since then, that positivity rate … reflects that our players, staff, and coaches have done a terrific job of staying uninfected.”
Seifert added that the positive results include “persistent” cases, which are for individuals who have had infections for several months, and “false positives.”
Despite this promising information, the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to continue daily coronavirus testing of players through at least Sept. 5.
During Tuesday’s season premiere of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn surprised his players by telling them he was previously infected with COVID-19.
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles are among NFL personnel who have also tested positive since the start of the pandemic.