ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — A sudden wave of positive COVID-19 tests around the entire NFL has raised red flags at One Bills Drive. The league is working with BioReference for clarity on results that could be false positive tests.
A statement from the NFL on a setback with COVID testing: pic.twitter.com/ZKgzfwe64R— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 23, 2020
The Bills delayed their scheduled practice session by an hour on Sunday morning. But aside from that delay and holding players whose test came back positive out of practice, it's business as usual at One Bills Drive.
"A few guys will miss practice. I can't go through those names," Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. "As we got more information , we felt like it was more of a lab issue and not a true issue with our guys."
Groups involved in the decision to move forward with practice today included player leadership and team doctors, along with staff. Players held out of practice will be noted below, but they have not appeared on any injury reports for the Bills:
- QB Josh Allen
- DT Harrison Phillips
- DL Quinton Jefferson
- DT Vernon Butler
"It's a great fire drill for our coaching staff," Beane said. "We've tried to tell everybody that you have to expect the unexpected, but don't buckle your knees."
Under the assumption that the result with BioReference was a false positive, it will only take one negative test for a player held out of practice Sunday to get back into the facility instead of the league standard of two negative tests.
"As long as they're negative tomorrow, those guys can come back in," Beane said. "Assuming all these "false positives" come back negative again, they can come back tomorrow morning."
Sunday was also the first time Brandon Beane publicly weighed in on the contract extensions of head coach Sean McDermott and left tackle Dion Dawkins, the first Bills draftee of the Beane-McDermott era to ink an extension.
""We love to draft, develop, and re-sign, and that's proof in the pudding," Beane said of Dawkins. "And I think [McDermott] checked all the boxes for a coach after three years with having to go through a full rebuild."
WKBW will continue to update this story with any notable absences from the Bills' Sunday morning practice as a result of the potential false positives from BioReference's New Jersey lab.