Approximately eight hours after shutting down their practice facility because an unnamed player had tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, the Jets announced that all their players, coaches and personnel had tested negative. That includes the original player, whose first test actually was a false positive.
"Following a presumptive positive test and out of an abundance of caution to ensure everyone’s health and safety we sent all players and personnel home this morning," the Jets said in a statement Friday night. "We also initiated all NFL mandated protocols, including player isolation, subsequent testing and contact tracing.
"As we have thus far, we will continue to follow required health and safety protocols in the best interest of our coaches, players, staff and community. We look forward to playing our game this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals."
The Jets (0-4) are scheduled to play the Cardinals (2-2) Sunday. Whether the game would take place was in question for most of the day as the team waited for the result of the second testing.
Players were already at the practice facility on Friday morning when the team became aware of the false positive result, and they were sent home promptly. The team did their prep work for the Cardinals game virtually.
The Cardinals were operating all day as though they expected the game to take place, and their plane reportedly left for New York in the afternoon.
"As of now it’s business as usual," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said at noon Friday. "We’re heading out today and getting ready to play on Sunday until told otherwise."
The Jets are just the latest NFL team to be impacted by the virus. The league had two games postponed last week and has already rescheduled two games — Titans vs. Bills and Patriots vs. Broncos — this week as teams experienced positive tests.
No team has been more impacted than the Tennessee Titans, whose COVID outbreak increased to 23 with 21 of those results coming since Sept. 29. The team was banned from its own facility for 10 days, but things are now looking up as they have gone three of the last five days without a positive test.
The NFL announced Thursday night that, barring another outbreak, the Titans (3-0) would be able to host the Bills (4-0) on Tuesday. The game between the two unbeaten teams originally had been scheduled for Sunday. The Titans announced on Friday that they would go ahead with plans to have approximately 8,000 fans at Nissan Stadium for the game. That is in keeping with the original plan for 12.5% capacity and there are no plans to adjust that number despite the Covid-19 outbreak among Titans players.
Rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (right shoulder) is listed as doubtful and expected to miss a game for the first time, underscoring what a misjudgment it was to have him play last week. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (ankle) is expected to miss his third straight game. As had been previously announced, quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) is out and Joe Flacco will start in his place.