Matthew Stafford Tested Positive for COVID-19: When Can He Return?

John Maakaron

On Saturday, the face of the Detroit Lions' franchise was placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list. 

The announcement that Matthew Stafford had a positive test result could have meant two things -- either he tested positive for COVID-19 or he had close contact with someone who had the coronavirus.

The Lions have typically deferred questions regarding a positive test to the league's policy that mandates teams not to comment on a player’s medical status. 

As SI The MMQB's Albert Breer explains, 

"Lions QB Matt Stafford did, indeed, test positive for COVID-19 (this wasn’t a case of being in close contact with someone sick). The test was administered on Friday, and Stafford was asymptomatic beforehand. That means that Stafford passed tests on Tuesday and Wednesday, before the positive came up and landed him on the reserve list."

This indicates that in order for Stafford to return: 

  • 10 days have passed since the initial positive test
  • Five days have elapsed since the initial positive test and two consecutive negative tests are completed, separated by 24 hours and within a five-day period
  • Return must be approved by the team’s head physician

Eight players on Detroit's roster are currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list: Stafford, tight end Isaac Nauta, cornerback Justin Coleman, wide receiver Kenny Golladay, tight end T.J. Hockenson, punter Arryn Siposs, safety Jalen Elliott and cornerback Amani Oruwariye.

Read Breer's entire column at The MMQB. 


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Comments (4)
No. 1-2

There was really only guy that couldn’t be on this list and HE is on list! Boy Lions only have bad luck


How on earth did he test negative the first two times?