The Indianapolis Colts on Friday in brief joined the rising workforce of N.F.L. groups coping with a possible outbreak of coronavirus instances. Hours later, although, the workforce introduced that the “4 people” who examined certain for the virus have been re-tested and showed to be unfavorable.
After the Colts mentioned they had been final their follow facility, the New England Patriots — who had simply emerged from a virus-inflicted week off — canceled their Friday follow consultation after recording one new certain. A 2nd New England participant to begin with examined certain as neatly on Friday, however the follow-up screening yielded a unfavorable consequence.
The confusion in Indianapolis reflected a identical sequence of occasions closing Friday involving the Jets, who closed after which briefly reopened their coaching facility after an preliminary certain consequence was once now not showed in a 2nd check. The uncertainty and disruption additionally solid new doubt at the reliance on speedy trying out to identify, and save you, virus outbreaks because the league plows forward with its agenda.
The rash of false positives echoed a number of different incidents that experience made headlines in contemporary months. In August, Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio examined certain on a speedy check, most effective to verify 3 times through a laboratory check that he didn’t have the coronavirus. And on Oct. 2, officers in Nevada issued a statewide directive to nursing houses to halt use of 2 government-issued speedy exams that had produced a regarding selection of false positives that would now not be showed through extra dependable exams. Underneath force from the government, the state reversed the order per week later.
Despite the fact that speedy exams for the coronavirus are quicker, extra handy and less expensive than standard laboratory exams, they’re a long way much less correct. They extra regularly pass over instances of the coronavirus, in addition to mistakenly label wholesome folks as inflamed.
The scoop of the Patriots’ new case got here an afternoon after two of the their maximum vital avid gamers, quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, had been taken off the workforce’s reserve/Covid-19 listing and returned to practice. Newton, who joined the Patriots this season, and Gilmore, the reigning N.F.L. defensive participant of the 12 months, are anticipated to play when the Patriots face the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. The workforce mentioned the sport, which have been postponed per week after New England’s previous virus outbreak, would cross forward as deliberate.
In Indianapolis, the Colts referred to as off follow and despatched their staff house after pronouncing the workforce had decided it was once coping with “several” positives, most effective to name everybody again hours later.
“The 4 certain samples had been re-tested and feature been showed unfavorable,” the workforce mentioned in an replace posted on Twitter. After consulting the league, the Colts mentioned, they reopened their follow facility “and can proceed preparation for Sunday’s sport.”
The Colts had been simply the newest workforce to announce certain exams up to now few weeks, a bunch that has integrated the Tennessee Titans, the Patriots and, as of Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons. The outbreaks have scrambled the N.F.L. schedule, forced the league to strengthen its virus protocols, and raised questions about its decision to press ahead with the game schedule without creating a restricted environment like the so-called bubble used by the N.B.A.
Several N.F.L. game dates have already been changed, and each new postponement causes a cascading series of changes in the complicated matrix that is the league’s schedule.
Any complications with Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos game in New England, though, could create the most serious scheduling problems yet. When the league postponed the teams’ meeting last weekend, it solved the scheduling complication by allowing New England and Denver to use their original date as a bye week, and by shuffling several games against other opponents later in the season.
But since N.F.L. teams only get one bye week per season, that has left the league with no flexibility if it is forced to postpone any more games involving either team. By insisting on its traditional schedule format, even as virus cases continue to rise in dozens of states, the N.F.L. has little choice but to try to play Sunday’s game — provided the Patriots do not confirm any additional cases — or to pursue adding an 18th week to the calendar to allow for makeup games.