All of the Atlanta Falcons’ 2020 rookies passed their first NFL test.
A COVID-19 test.
The 26 newcomers were checked for the coronavirus twice last week, and none came back positive, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jason Butt. They started physicals and equipment testing over the weekend before participating in strength-and-conditioning workouts Monday.
Other teams weren’t so lucky.
Twenty-four players, league-wide were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
As a precaution against the virus, football coaches are prohibited from attending rookie workouts. Only strength-and-conditioning staff can assist the players.
Quarterbacks and injured players entered the testing process Thursday, and the remaining veterans join them Tuesday, the official opening day of training camp.
After tense negotiations, the NFL and its players association struck a deal Friday for training camp to begin as scheduled. The league canceled its preseason earlier this month, which makes the next month and a half of practices even more important, especially when Atlanta and other teams have plenty of roster questions to answer.
The cancellation doesn’t have much effect on established stars like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, but it hurts the six draft picks and 20 undrafted players added to the Falcons’ organization this offseason. Rookies now have four less chances to show they deserve a starting gig or a roster spot.
Testing negative and kicking off workouts on time is a step in the right direction, though.
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