Matthew Stafford: 'You Feel Really Safe' at Training Camp

Matthew Stafford discusses his false-positive COVID-19 test and whether or not he seriously considered opting out of the 2020 NFL season.
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Matthew Stafford will be back under center for the Detroit Lions for a 12th consecutive season in 2020. 

He took questions from members of the Detroit media Tuesday for the first time since his false-positive COVID-19 test result. 

He touched on a multitude of topics, including the false-positive result and the changes the NFL has made since in handling such a situation. 

"It's totally unknown times for all of us -- you know, the league, the players, coaches, you know, the organization as a whole. Everything is new, and it's unknown," Stafford said during Tuesday's Zoom video conference. "I know everyone is doing the best that they possibly can." 

He's pleased that the false-positive came at this early stage in training camp and that the league is trying to do everything it can to ensure that a repeat incident doesn't occur. 

As a result of Stafford's false-positive, the NFL has established a policy that stipulates that players who test positive and are asymptomatic are required to undergo two confirmatory nasal tests the next day.

If both tests are negative, the player is then not considered to be COVID-19 positive and is able to resume all normal activity, including having access to his team's practice facility. 

"I'm glad it got settled. I'm glad it's over with. I'm just happy to be in the building, you know, hanging with the guys and getting a little normalcy back when it comes to football," Stafford commented. 

And he feels safe each time he enters the team's practice facility in Allen Park. 

"The amount of protocol that's in there for us to go through daily, just to get in here, is pretty impressive," the Lions' longtime signal-caller said. "Makes you feel good when you're a player. You come in here, you feel really safe. Everybody here is taking as much precaution as they possibly can, taking it extremely serious." 

He added that the facility is as safe as it's ever been since he joined the organization in 2009. 

"I know, as players, we really appreciate it. You know, this is not lost on us -- the amount of dollars and effort that went into making the building and facility look and operate the way that it does right now," Stafford said. 

In the buildup to the start of training camp and even after going through his COVID-19 testing dilemma, he never seriously considered opting out. 

"I want to play football. I want to be out here," he said. "I have a supporting wife and family that know I love doing what I do and know it's important to me. So, they were right on board with me."

Detroit's Week 1 contest with the Bears will mark the first time Stafford's taken the field since injuring his back in Week 9 last season against the Raiders. 

Stafford feels good, though, and the Lions are surely happy to have him back and healthy for the start of the 2020 regular season. 

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