Broncos Have Not Had Even One Positive COVID-19 Test as Camp Begins
In case you missed it, the Denver Broncos entire rookie class, as well as Drew Lock and the quarterbacks, and any players rehabbing from an injury or surgery, reported last Thursday for training camp — and were promptly tested for the novel coronavirus.
Under new NFL mandate, the 80 Broncos who've now reported will undergo their first coronavirus test, then self-quarantined for three days. If the initial test was negative, those players return for one more round of testing.
If that second test is also negative, that player will be admitted through the doors of UC Health Training Center on Monday to begin training camp. From there, all NFL players will be tested daily as the 2020 season begins.
The question is, did any of the Broncos test positive for the coronavirus?
Nope. Not one of the 80 Broncos players who've reported has tested positive, which means none were placed on the COVID IR list. Meanwhile, many players across the NFL have tested positive.
That means Vic Fangio and his staff can officially get the ball rolling on training camp. The Broncos veterans reported on Tuesday to begin that two-stage testing process. So far so good. Zero positive tests.
As the Florida Marlins are the epicenter of the MLB's first coronavirus outbreak, the NFL is hopeful that its painstaking and comprehensive testing policy will be able to forestall any threat to the 2020 season. To make ensure the young players understand the stakes, the NFL has created an amendment, which was agreed to by the NFLPA, that should put the kybosh on players going out and hitting the town and exposing themselves, and thus their team, to the virus.
As it stands, any player who tests positive will be placed on COVID IR and will be promptly quarantined. That player will be out of commission for basically two weeks, while the infection will be considered a 'football injury' as it relates to pay and NFL financial liability.
Any player who tests positive and the team later learns during contact tracing that the infected player had gone out to an indoor night club or bar (15 or more people), an indoor house party (15 or more people), an indoor music concert (15 or more people), an indoor, non-NFL sporting event (15 or more people), or indoor religious event that was attended by 25% or more of its indoor capacity, will not receive the 'football injury' designation and could be subject to team discipline.
Not garnering the 'football injury' designation could also have financial ramifications for players under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and NFL Player Contract. This year, players are being more than strongly encouraged to stay home and keep their exposure to 15 or more people restricted to team facilities.
Still, football is starting up. The Broncos so far are clean with regard to testing and OC Pat Shurmur and QBs Coach Mike Shula finally get hands-on Lock starting on Monday.
The teams have done their part to create as safe a working environment as is possible. Let's just hope the players do theirs with regard to not participating in high-risk COVID-19 behavior, as defined by the CBA amendments.
Not having one positive test result is an indication that the Broncos have done a good job of hammering home the personal responsibility issue, helping the players to understand that this year, their social lives have to be much more limited in order to protect themselves and the entire team.