A total of nine Chicago Bears players and staff members tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend, but the team says it appears that all nine results were false positives after an issue at the laboratory that was processing the tests.
The Bears were one of several NFL clubs impacted by the testing issues at a lab in New Jersey, according to the league.
“This morning, we learned yesterday’s COVID-19 testing identified nine players and staff as positive,” the Bears said in a statement. “We followed additional NFL-NFLPA testing protocol and confirmed all nine results as false positives.”
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, players who return false positive test results must go through specific NFL protocols to return to the field, meaning that the nine individuals involved with the results will likely not participate in the team’s practice Sunday afternoon at Halas Hall.
According to Kim Jones of the NFL Network, Buffalo Bills G.M. Brandon Beane says that 10-to-11 teams are dealing with issues arising from the test results performed by the New Jersey lab.
The NFL issued a statement of its own Sunday, saying that clubs are currently working to “confirm or rule out” positive test results.
“Clubs are taking immediate precautionary measures as outlined in the NFL-NFLPA’s health safety protocols to include contact tracing, isolation of individuals and temporarily adjusting the schedule, where appropriate,” the league said. “The other laboratories used for NFL testing have not had similar results.”