The Detroit Lions have placed starting quarterback Matthew Stafford on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It is not known if Stafford tested positive for COVID-19 or came in close contact with someone who has the virus. This designation comes three months after being placed on the list but was quickly taken off due to a false-positive test result.
Stafford reportedly didn't take part in the open portion of Lions practice on Wednesday. The team is getting ready to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and it's a big contest as the Lions look to keep pace with the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, who are battling for first place in the NFC North. Lions head coach Matt Patricia told reporters before practice on Wednesday that no players would miss practice due to contract tracing related to linebacker Jarrad Davis, who the Lions placed on the reserve COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to comment on any of the COVID stuff as far as that, but nobody would not be out at practice because of JD," Patricia said via the Detroit Free Press. Stafford's false positive case came as the team was reporting to training camp. At the time, he told reporters he believed he had the virus despite not having any symptoms.
"I had no reason to not believe the results, or whatever, except for the fact that I was feeling fine," Stafford said. "But there’s plenty of people out there that are positive and asymptomatic as well. So I think, yeah, there was no doubt there was some fear as I think everybody would have if they got a test that came back positive. And just knowing how much that I’m around and had been around my family and my kids, that’s a little bit of a scary thing." What Stafford had to say echoes what his wife Kelly said when learning he was a false positive.
"Even after we knew it was false positive, out school told us they were not allowed back," Kelly wrote in an Instagram post. "I was told approached in a grocery store and told I was 'endangering others,' my kids were harassed and kicked off the playground." Stafford has played in all of the Lions' seven games this season and has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards and 13 touchdowns.