The first NFL player to catch coronavirus might have not been in the league yet when he got it.
Washington Redskins receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden, an intriguing fourth-round pick out of Liberty, tested positive for COVID-19 during the pre-draft process. He said his positive test was on March 24.
Gandy-Golden said he’s fine now, but he joins a very short list of players who have publicly stated they had the virus. Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen was the first to say he had coronavirus in mid-April. Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller is the biggest star to announce he has had it, and he wants to help with education on the virus.
Antonio Gandy-Golden got coronavirus in March
Gandy-Golden announced with a statement that he had coronavirus in March. He was cleared on April 7, via Sam Fortier of the Washington Post.
Redskins rookie receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden tested positive for COVID-19 during his pre-draft process and has since recovered. He’s the first known case in the organization.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) May 20, 2020
Statement from him: pic.twitter.com/gEvJ7aoQ6T
All of the current NFL coaches and players who have had coronavirus did not have severe complications, including New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.
NFL preparing for more cases
It’s likely a strange coincidence that Gandy-Golden went to Liberty University, the school run by Jerry Falwell that got a lot of criticism for reopening in late March. Gandy-Golden was preparing for the draft this winter, and told Sporting News in April that he moved back to Liberty to work out when his training facility in Florida closed. He did not disclose then he had the virus.
The NFL is already considering what happens when a player catches coronavirus during the season. Realistically, it’s unavoidable. Gandy-Golden’s announcement is a reminder of that.
Gandy-Golden, an intriguing prospect at 6-foot-4, 223 pounds, apparently didn’t have his draft stock affected as he dealt with coronavirus privately a month before the draft. He’s one of the first known cases in the NFL, but will be far from the last.
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