It was confirmed that Falcons fullback Keith Smith and safety Jamal Carter both tested positive for the coronavirus. Hawkins’s case has not been confirmed so it could mean he came into close contact with someone who has testest positive.
All three players will be quarantined for 10 days and must test negative for two consecutive COVID tests before returning to camp.
Falcons fullback Keith Smith, like safety Jamal Carter, has tested positive for COVID-19. I’m told Smith is asymptomatic. Falcons put Smith, Carter on reserve/COVID-19 list along with rookie Jaylinn Hawkins, who was put on yesterday.
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 29, 2020
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Matt Ryan Won’t Be Isolated
While Some teams are isolating their starting QBs from certain workouts and locker rooms, Dan Quinn said he won’t be doing that with Matt Ryan.
“That’s not Matt, that’s not us,” Quinn told William McFadden of the Atlanta Falcons website.
Matt Ryan won't be kept isolated from the team, Dan Quinn says. "That's not Matt, that's not us." Says following guidelines will be the most important thing.
— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) July 28, 2020
Too many players and especially rookies, Ryan is their leader and captain, someone they look to for help during practices. It’s safe to say, training camp wouldn’t run smoothly without him there.
The NFL Won’t Follow the NBA Bubble Format
The NBA has hardly had any players test positive for COVID since they resumed. This is because they spent months developing a safe strategy for players and staff to return.
The NBA bubble is located in Orlando where all players are practically shut off from the rest of the world.
The NFL has been told to do the same things since several players have tested positive for the virus. However, the NFL is a lot bigger.
Each NFL team would need to house hundreds of employees including players, coaches, medical officials, and other staffers. This would be all day, every day for at least five months.
Oh, and you can’t forget about the game officials and media coverage each week.
It sounded like a good idea when the NBA did it, but their rosters are a lot smaller and it’s for three months, not five.
Why COVID Test Could Become the Main Problem This Season
While testing is a necessity for a safe return, NBC Sports analyst Peter King brought up the problems outlining testing.
Players are supposed to have two negative tests before entering the facility to start camp. It won’t be so much of a problem not until the season actually begins.
The biggest concern is that testing results could take up to 24 hours and then quarantine takes two weeks minimum, plus another test.
“If the center tests positive on a Friday, and there’s a quarantine period for all of his close contacts … well, if I just came from practice where I’ve been in a huddle with all my offensive teammates, been doing individual drills with all my linemen, then blocking the defensive linemen and linebackers all afternoon, aren’t we talking about 35 guys being close contacts with me?” Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA president J.C. Tretter said, according to King. “And if they’re all in quarantine for the next couple days, what does Sunday’s game look like? You don’t have enough bodies to put on the field to play.”