The Indianapolis Colts on Friday in brief joined the rising staff of N.F.L. groups coping with a possible outbreak of coronavirus instances. Hours later, even though, the crew introduced that the “four individuals” who examined certain for the virus have been re-tested and showed to be destructive.
After the Colts mentioned they have been last their apply facility, the New England Patriots — who had simply emerged from a virus-inflicted week off — canceled their Friday apply consultation after recording one new certain. A 2d New England participant first of all examined certain as smartly on Friday, however the follow-up screening yielded a destructive end result.
The confusion in Indianapolis reflected a equivalent sequence of occasions final Friday involving the Jets, who closed after which temporarily reopened their coaching facility after an preliminary certain end result used to be now not showed in a 2d take a look at. The uncertainty and disruption additionally forged new doubt at the reliance on speedy trying out to identify, and save you, virus outbreaks because the league plows forward with its time table.
The rash of false positives echoed a number of different incidents that experience made headlines in contemporary months. In August, Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio examined certain on a speedy take a look at, handiest to verify 3 times by means of a laboratory take a look at that he didn’t have the coronavirus. And on Oct. 2, officers in Nevada issued a statewide directive to nursing properties to halt use of 2 government-issued speedy assessments that had produced a relating to choice of false positives that would now not be showed by means of extra dependable assessments. Beneath power from the government, the state reversed the order every week later.
Even supposing speedy assessments for the coronavirus are quicker, extra handy and less expensive than conventional laboratory assessments, they’re some distance much less correct. They extra continuously pass over instances of the coronavirus, in addition to mistakenly label wholesome other people as inflamed.
The scoop of the Patriots’ new case got here an afternoon after two of the their maximum vital avid gamers, quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, have been taken off the crew’s reserve/Covid-19 record and returned to practice. Newton, who joined the Patriots this season, and Gilmore, the reigning N.F.L. defensive participant of the yr, are anticipated to play when the Patriots face the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. The crew mentioned the sport, which have been postponed every week after New England’s previous virus outbreak, would move forward as deliberate.
In Indianapolis, the Colts known as off apply and despatched their staff house after pronouncing the crew had made up our minds it used to be coping with “several” positives, handiest to name everybody again hours later.
“The four positive samples were re-tested and have been confirmed negative,” the crew mentioned in an replace posted on Twitter. After consulting the league, the Colts mentioned, they reopened their apply facility “and will continue preparation for Sunday’s game.”
The Colts have been simply the newest crew to announce certain assessments prior to now few weeks, a bunch that has integrated the Tennessee Titans, the Patriots and, as of Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons. The outbreaks have scrambled the N.F.L. schedule, forced the league to strengthen its virus protocols, and raised questions about its decision to press ahead with the game schedule without creating a restricted environment like the so-called bubble used by the N.B.A.
Several N.F.L. game dates have already been changed, and each new postponement causes a cascading series of changes in the complicated matrix that is the league’s schedule.
Any complications with Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos game in New England, though, could create the most serious scheduling problems yet. When the league postponed the teams’ meeting last weekend, it solved the scheduling complication by allowing New England and Denver to use their original date as a bye week, and by shuffling several games against other opponents later in the season.
But since N.F.L. teams only get one bye week per season, that has left the league with no flexibility if it is forced to postpone any more games involving either team. By insisting on its traditional schedule format, even as virus cases continue to rise in dozens of states, the N.F.L. has little choice but to try to play Sunday’s game — provided the Patriots do not confirm any additional cases — or to pursue adding an 18th week to the calendar to allow for makeup games.