Is The NFL Taking COVID-19 Seriously?
oments before facing the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens receiver, Dez Bryant, was informed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was pulled during the team’s pre-game warm-ups.
Despite Bryant’s positive COVID test, however, the NFL made the decision to proceed with the game.
Bryant posted on social media: “Yea I’m going to go ahead and call it a quit for the rest of the season.”
“I can’t deal with this,” he said.
Fans and players were all convinced that the NFL was not taking the pandemic seriously enough following the response from Bryant, along with images of Bryant embracing his former Cowboys teammates moments before hearing the positive test result.
The NFL protocol includes contact tracing following positive tests; individuals considered to be at high risk are quarantined, irrespective of whether they themselves have tested positive.
Tracking data and interviews with people on the field were also reported to have been used to ensure that no high-risk contact occurred.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert took to social media after posting an inquiry as to why Bryant was allowed to play despite his positive test.
“Got an answer as to why Dez Bryant was allowed to warm up,” Seifert said.
“Per an NFL source, his inconclusive test did not come back until after he had already taken the field.
“As soon as the test did come back, he was pulled and given a point of care PCR test that returned positive,” he said.
The Ravens have been combating a Coronavirus outbreak within the organisation for weeks, and are set to play on Tuesday night instead of the scheduled Sunday due to recent positive tests.
The NFL reportedly did not consider Bryant’s brief interactions with the Cowboys problematic and so the photos did not provide sufficient grounds for the game to be postponed, according to league officials.