“Several” Dallas Cowboys players, including star running back Ezekiel Elliott, recently tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday. Rapoport also noted that multiple Houston Texans players contracted the virus.
“None of the players are believed to have been in their team facilities. The teams followed proper health protocols,” he tweeted.
Rapoport spoke to Elliott’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, who claimed his client is “feeling good.”
WFAA’s Mike Leslie reports Elliott was tested last week and only did so “because he was around someone with it.”
A source close to Ezekiel Elliott confirms he did indeed test positive for COVID-19. The test happened last week.
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) June 15, 2020
It’s unclear who else in the Cowboys’ organization was affected by the pandemic, nor the extent of their symptoms or whether they simply tested positive for the antibodies.
“Due to federal and local privacy laws, we are unable to provide information regarding the personal health of any of our employees,” Rapoport was told in a brief statement from the team.
Two sources close to the situation would not confirm the veracity of the report to ESPN’s Ed Werder. But, as he notes, they did not deny it, either.
Two #Cowboys sources declined to confirm this report, citing the sensitivity of the issue and noting that is a personal/employee health matter. But neither denied it. This is what the #NFL must create policy on to have training camps and play season as scheduled. https://t.co/IZ1K548aX7
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) June 15, 2020
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NFL Doc Foresaw Corona Spike
News of Elliott and others returning a positive test result comes as no surprise to NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills. Sills stated last month that the league is “fully” expecting such cases to spike as parts of the country re-open following months of shelter-in-place orders.
“We fully expect that we will have positive cases that arise. … Our challenge is to identify them as quickly as possible and prevent spread to any other participants,” he said, via Rapoport.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among the first of his counterparts to ease restrictions throughout the state. Predictably, Texas has seen a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the last two weeks.
Earlier this month, coinciding with “Phase 3” of the state’s rollout plan, Abbott announced that stadiums under his jurisdiction “will be able to seat [at] 50% capacity,” an increase over his previously-determined 25% capacity.
As of this writing, there are approximately 2.14 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. Roughly 655,000 people are reported to have recovered. More than 117,000 people reportedly have died from the virus.
There are 87,854 confirmed cases in Texas, with 58,341 recoveries and 1,976 deaths.