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Notes: Future Lions opponents cleared to return to practice after COVID scare

Weeks 7 and 8 are back on track after brief scares.

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Now that the Tennessee Titans have finally managed to stem the tide of positive COVID results at their facility, a new batch of issues have sprung up. Two of the teams that received positive results were the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts. This is important for the Detroit Lions because those are the current Week 7 and Week 8 opponents they are expecting to play.

The Falcons had one assistant coach test positive on Thursday, prompting the organization to close down their facility and operate remotely for the day. Earlier in the week, the Falcons placed defensive tackle Marlon Davidson on the COVID/reserve list, but no mention was made of whether the Thursday positive result was related in any way to that move. In any case, the team was cleared to return to their building on Friday morning, and hopefully that will be the end of that.

As for the Colts, the organization posted an update clarifying they received four positive cases which were overturned by negative results on re-testing:

It’s great that these turned out to be nothing, but Justin Rogers from the Detroit News has a good point:

As for the rest of the league, the New England Patriots canceled practice due to a player with a confirmed positive test on Friday and are still awaiting confirmation of a second positive initial test. This is the third time in ten days that the Patriots have had to close their facility due to COVID protocols, and their now-jeopardized game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos was already moved from Week 5 to Week 6. It is not yet clear what the league intends to do with the Broncos-Patriots game (again), but it serves as a good reminder of how complex these issues can get. The Lions’ opponents for the rest of October are in the clear now, but the situation could change rapidly.

And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • Did we mention Stafford could use some help from his receivers? That bad drop rate we mentioned in our film breakdown article actually puts the Lions at worst in the league in that regard.

  • The Athletic’s Chris Burke thinks it’s time for the Lions to put Julian Okwara on the field more and see what he can do (subscription required). What do they have to lose?