It appears another NFL team may be dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. Just as the Tennessee Titans are finally getting over their virus outbreak, the Atlanta Falcons may be the next dealing with the virus.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Falcons have shut down their facility on Thursday after receiving “multiple” positive tests. Per Schefter, four employees—unclear if players or personnel—received positive tests, though he did not specify if these positive tests have been confirmed with follow up tests.
UPDATE: A Falcons official said those tests are not confirmed yet:
Falcons‘ official this morning: “Still working through details, can tell you we’re not at four confirmed.” https://t.co/6oKSiSQToZ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2020
However, at least one test is a confirmed positive, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
This has a chance of impacting the Detroit Lions in the near future. The Falcons are currently scheduled to host the Lions next week—Sunday, October 25. In the past, the NFL has been able to reschedule some games impacted by COVID-19 to a team’s bye week, but Detroit has already had theirs. Atlanta’s bye week is scheduled for Week 10, when Detroit is supposed to host the Washington Football Team.
But before we even get there, the Falcons have a game scheduled this week against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. That game could be in jeopardy, though we obviously have to wait to see how the situation plays out first.
We’ll keep you updated as the situation in Atlanta progresses.
UPDATE: It appears there is just one new confirmed positive on Thursday:
The #Falcons’ one confirmed new positive COVID-19 test today is not a player, per source. Team working remotely today as a precaution.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 15, 2020
UPDATE 2: For now, the issue seems isolated. The Falcons are currently planning on returning to the facility on Friday:
It was a #Falcons assistant coach who was confirmed positive for COVID-19 this morning, per source. The team had the option to return to the facility this afternoon, but decided to operate virtually all day as a precaution. Plan is back tomorrow, barring further issues.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 15, 2020