The game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears is going forward on Sunday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, despite cornerback A.J. Terrell being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.
Rapoport reported that contract tracing has been done, and that all Falcons players and personnel who were tested yesterday tested negative. Everyone besides Terrell has been cleared to participate in Sunday’s game.
Sources: The #Falcons-#Bears game is officially on, despite ATL CB AJ Terrell being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list and contact tracing over the last more than 24 hours. All ATL players and personnel are cleared for today’s game. No positives from testing conducted yesterday.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 27, 2020
Terrell’s placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list doesn’t necessarily mean he has COVID-19. He could have tested positive, or he could have come into contact with someone who was confirmed to have tested positive.
All Falcons players and personnel testing negative yesterday is good news. However, it can take several days for someone to test positive after they’ve been exposed. The NFL is not releasing whether a player has tested positive.
Protocols appear to be working
Regardless of Terrell being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the NFL-NFLPA protocols have appeared to be successful thus far. There were a number of players placed on the list during training camp, but that number peaked at 24 in July and has fallen since. Players, coaches, and team personnel are being tested every day, teams are continuing to disinfect communal areas, practice social distancing, and limit the amount of personnel with access to the locker rooms.
More importantly, players, coaches, and team personnel appear to be limiting their exposure to unfamiliar individuals and staying away from situations where they’re unable to socially distance. It takes just one person acting irresponsibly to spark a team wide outbreak, and thus far the NFL has been able to avoid that worst-case scenario.
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