CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Cleveland Browns are resuming practice and reopening their building after learning that a second round of COVID-19 tests for the team have come back negative.
“We’ve concluded our re-testing of each initial presumptive positive result from yesterday among players, coaches and staff. All have come back as negative, which is consistent with the irregularities across the league from multiple teams. As a result, we are reopening our building and will resume football activities this afternoon.”
The team had previously canceled all activities for Sunday when they discovered multiple members of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19.
However, there were some concerns about the legitimacy of the results since multiple clubs who use the same testing lab had the similar results.
“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,” the Browns said in an earlier statement.
The players who had originally tested positive cannot return to practice until they test negative again on Monday.
According to the AP, among teams reporting false positives, the Minnesota Vikings said they had 12, the New York Jets 10 and the Chicago Bears nine.
The Jets canceled a walk-through on Saturday night but had a full practice Sunday morning after the previously positive tests came back negative. The Bears moved their practice scheduled for Sunday morning to the afternoon.
The Pittsburgh Steelers said they had six false positives and those players will be back at practice Monday. The Philadelphia Eagles held out four players from working out Sunday. The Cleveland Browns called off their workout altogether.
“Definitely probably better that this happened now than three weeks from now,” said Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane, whose club had some of those positive results. “But it seems like every few weeks, or even every week, something’s going on. Who know what the next curveball will be?”
Beane said tests in the Northeast had gone “haywire,” and called it “a lab issue and not a true issue with our guys currently” after several Bills were held out of practice.
Jets offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi, who opted out of playing this season because of family health concerns, tweeted: “Wishing nothing but safety and great health over my brothers and their families right now. As it turns out, testing isn’t as reliable as we’d all hoped.”
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