Note: This story has been updated to show that Stafford now could play on Sunday.
Matthew Stafford was a surprise absence from Wednesday’s practice. A few hours later, the Detroit Lions revealed why.
Stafford has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list just one day after linebacker Jarrad Davis was placed on the same list. The Lions offered an identical statement Wednesday.
“This reserve list category was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons,” the statement read.
Prior to practice, head coach Matt Patricia said that he did not believe Davis’ COVID situation would cause any other Lions players to miss practice.
“Nobody would not be able to practice because of JD,” Patricia said.
If that is the case, then it appears Stafford’s COVID situation is separate from Davis’, but it still doesn’t rule out that this could be a case where he came into close contact with someone who tested positive.
Either way, it appears the Lions will not have Stafford available this week against the Minnesota Vikings, as NFL rules require players to isolate five days regardless if they fall into the category of a positive test or a high-risk contact exposure with a positive individual. However, if he’s in the close-contact category, he would only need to isolate for five day after that contact. So depending on when that contact happened, Stafford could still be eligible.
As of now, my understanding is it’s uncertain whether #Lions QB Matthew Stafford will be able to play Sunday against the #Vikings. If he landed on the list because of high-risk close contact, it’d depend when the contact occurred, since there’s a mandatory five-day isolation.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 4, 2020
In other words, you should probably get ready from some Chase Daniel on Sunday!
UPDATE: According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Stafford did not test positive for COVID, but rather falls in the “close contact” category. Schefter is reporting that contact happened on Monday. So if Stafford isolates for five days and continues to test negative, he could actually play on Sunday without a week of practice.
Lions' QB Matthew Stafford is considered a "high-risk, close contact" from a non team member, per source. His last contact was Monday, which means he would be eligible to come off the Resvere/COVID list Sunday and play vs. the Vikings, pending negative tests for him, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2020
UPDATE 2: Kelly Stafford essentially confirmed this via Instagram. Here’s what she had to say:
“We are fine. We are all negative, my husband is negative. There was just a certain exposure. So we have been testing since our exposure and we are all negative.”