Jets send all coaches, players home after positive COVID-19 test surfaces at facility, per reports

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons
Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots appear on track to play their rescheduled Week 5 games thanks to zero additional COVID-19 cases after Thursday testing, but now yet another team — and more games — may be affected by the virus. As ESPN and ProFootballTalk reported Friday morning, the New York Jets have sent all coaches and players home from their New Jersey facilities after a player registered a “presumptive positive” COVID test.

Said player is undergoing additional testing, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and the Jets merely cleared their facility “out of an abundance of caution.” But the news suddenly puts New York’s Sunday game against the Arizona Cardinals in question, Schefter added, with the Cards now uncertain whether they can or will fly to the East Coast for Week 5’s matchup.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said the team will “prepare as normal” as if Sunday’s game will start at its scheduled time. Keim said on Arizona Sports 98.7-FM Friday (per Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic) he’s “all for playing the game on time, as long as it follows league protocols.”

Different teams have handled COVID cases in different ways this season. The Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders, for example, continued holding practice after receiving positive COVID tests or placing players on the COVID reserve list because of exposure to an infected person. But in the wake of outbreaks in both Tennessee and New England, the former of which remains under investigation by the NFL for potential violations of COVID-19 protocols, the league has put extra emphasis on protocol compliance and safety measures. The Titans and Patriots, of course, have already had two of their 2020 games rescheduled because of COVID cases.

SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reports that the results of the Jets player’s re-test will help determine the next steps for New York’s Week 5 game with Arizona. It’s possible the game will carry on as scheduled, although that would likely require the Jets to confirm in the next day or two that COVID-19 wasn’t spread to any other players or personnel.

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