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Report: Matthew Stafford tested positive for COVID-19 after 2 negative tests

Here’s what that means for Stafford and the Lions.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Detroit Lions placed starting quarterback Matthew Stafford on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That meant one of two things: either he tested positive for the virus or he had come into close contact with someone who was infected.

In his Monday column, MMQB’s Albert Breer clarified, saying that Stafford did, indeed, test positive for COVID-19 after two negative tests earlier in the week.

Lions QB Matt Stafford did, indeed, test positive for COVID-19 (this wasn’t a case of being in close contact with someone sick). The test was administered on Friday, and Stafford was asymptomatic beforehand. That means that Stafford passed tests on Tuesday and Wednesday, before the positive came up and landed him on the reserve list.

This could obviously mean several things because no tests are perfect. He could have recently contracted the virus. He could have received a false positive on Friday or two false negatives earlier in the week.

Either way, the good news is that he’s asymptomatic according to the most recent reports available. That means Stafford could come off the list relatively soon. Here’s how that works:

  • If he remains asymptomatic, Stafford must wait five days from the time he was officially placed on the list. If, within those five days, Stafford tests negative twice—in tests administered at least 24 hours apart—he can return. Otherwise, if he goes 10 days without symptoms, he is cleared to return.
  • If he develops symptoms, Stafford must wait at least 10 days from the time symptoms first appeared and 72 hours since he last experienced symptoms.

In both scenarios, Stafford must also pass an examination from the team’s head physician to satisfy the rest of the protocol.