Monday afternoon, NFL insider Ian Rapoport confirmed that running back Ezekiel Elliott had tested positive for COVID-19, along with several players from the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys. The former first-round pick was unhappy about this news leaking. He took to social media and expressed his frustration in a series of tweets.
Elliott started by writing, "HIPAA??" in reference to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This is the law designed to keep patient information private, but Elliott's information still surfaced. Several Twitter users responded and blamed his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, but the running back shut that argument down. He said that his agent did not provide any new information to media members.
"My agent only confirmed. The story was already written. Reporters had been called my agent all morning," Elliott tweeted. He then doubled down and reiterated that Arceneaux did not break the story to the media.
Rapoport had spoken to Elliott's agent prior to the comments on Twitter. Arceneaux said that the running back had indeed tested positive for coronavirus. He also said that Elliott is "feeling good" despite the diagnosis. The team facility is open to rehabbing players, but he was not among this group.
"Due to federal and local privacy laws, we are unable to provide information regarding the personal health of any of our employees," the Cowboys said in a statement via Rapoport. This is a similar statement provided by college programs that recently confirmed positive coronavirus tests among their athletes and staff members. The organizations and universities will not provide the identities of any affected individuals.
When Rapoport originally reported that multiple players from the Cowboys and Texans have tested positive, he clarified that none had been to their respective team's facilities. It is unknown how they contracted the virus, but they are currently following the protocols. The players are going into quarantine and are continuing to follow the recommended social distancing guidelines.
NFL teams are slowly reopening their facilities to rehabbing players, training staff members and the coaches amid the ongoing pandemic. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers returned to work on Monday, following the Los Angeles Chargers. These facilities have altered guidelines in order to help prevent the spread of the virus, including one-way halls, required facemasks and bags filled with hand sanitizer and gloves. Additionally, certain teams are moving their coach meetings to larger rooms in order to remain at least six feet apart while discussing the upcoming training camp and season.