NFL's 77 Positive Coronavirus Tests Were Possibly 'False Positive Results,' According to New Jersey Lab

The 77 positive coronavirus tests involving 11 teams were "likely false positive results" related to "an isolated contamination" in a New Jersey Lab. This announcement came after several NFL teams put on hold their practice schedules Sunday while the NFL look into the testing results from Saturday. The league determined the tests were in question from that lab.

"Our investigation indicated that these were most likely false positive results, caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory," BioReference Laboratories said in a written statement Monday from its executive chairman, Jon R. Cohen via The Washington Post. The statement also said the "subsequent testing has indicated that the issue has been resolved." The company also stated the individuals with tests in question "have been confirmed negative and informed."

Over the weekend, teams made changes due to the testing results. The Chicago Bears announced they had nine "false positives" in their testing results and postponed their training camp practice on Sunday. The Buffalo Bills pushed back their practice by an hour, and the Cleveland Browns delayed football activities on Sunday afternoon.

"This morning we learned yesterday's Covid-19 testing identified nine players/staff as positive," the Bears said in a statement Sunday. "We followed additional NFL-NFLPA testing protocol and confirmed all nine results as false positives. Out of an abundance of caution, we postponed this morning's practice to this afternoon at 1:30 p.m."


The Buffalo Bills looked into canceling practice on Sunday but decided to push forward. "We're just trying to be very cautious," Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. "We've been open with our team. The league jumped on this early to let us know that it wasn't just our team. It's a lot of teams. I think some went ahead and canceled the day. We did talk about that at one point. But as we got more information, we felt like it was more of a lab issue and not a true issue with our guys currently."

In the last COVID-19 update by the NFL Player's Association (Aug. 12), 64 players tested positive for the virus since they began to report for training camps. Also, 107 players tested positive during the offseason. Currently, teams are getting ready for the upcoming season, but no exhibition games are being played. The first game of the regular season will be on Sept. 10 when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Houston Texans.