The Jets were one of several NFL teams affected by a batch of false-positive COVID-19 tests this weekend.
A lab in New Jersey used by the NFL to process testing is at the center of the problem. The Jets had 10 positive tests on Saturday after not having any for days. The Jets closed their training center and canceled their walkthrough on Saturday night. Subsequent tests on all of the people who tested positive came back negative. The Jets were cleared to practice on Sunday and went through their normal practice.
“We had just started our squad meeting. I was informed of it,” Jets coach Adam Gase said. “Everything happened really fast as far as what was being told to us. Our guys did a great job as far as getting in touch with the league office, following all the right protocols, making sure we were doing all the right things. Our guys, they jumped on it quick, as soon as we found out.”
The Jets had to inform the players and staff members who tested positive to quarantine until they got clarity from the league.
“The guys who were told did a good job of quarantining themselves or if they went home, making sure they followed the direction of our doctors and our training staff, which was encouraging to see that our guys reacted the right way,” Gase said.
The Jets did not find out until early Sunday morning that they could practice. Gase spent Saturday night coming up with contingency plans.
“”I trust our doctors to give me the right information, tell me what I need to do as far as my part of the job,” Gase said, “try to be very flexible and understanding that what if I would have lost a practice today, how would I have handled that, what do I have to move. That was what I spent most of my night trying to figure out last night was, ‘ok if we lose tomorrow’s practice, what’s our schedule?’ You’re putting together a schedule that might not happen. It’s not a fun way to go through the night. You have all this stuff already prepared. You’re just trying to figure out what’s the next steps.”
False positives are a major concern around the NFL. If this happens on a regular-season weekend, games could be affected.
“I don’t want to look too far ahead,” Gase said of the regular-season scenario. “I would say that it’s probably better that it happened now than in three weeks. I’m realistic in the thought that it’s such an unknown. Everything is so day-to-day right now and understanding things can change very quickly. We’ve got to be able to adjust.”