Browns cancel practice as NFL investigates positive Covid-19 tests from several teams

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, the NFL logo is displayed on the field at the Bank of American Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. The NFL revealed Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, that several positive COVID-19 tests were found a day earlier by one of its testing partners, and the Chicago Bears said they had nine false positives. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)
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FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, the NFL logo is displayed on the field at the Bank of American Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. The NFL revealed Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, that several positive COVID-19 tests were found a day earlier by one of its testing partners, and the Chicago Bears said they had nine false positives. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)

Credit: AP

teams serviced by New Jersey lab affected; Bengals practiced as usual on Sunday

The NFL reported several positive results from multiple teams following Saturday’s daily COVID-19 testing serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey, but the Cincinnati Bengals were not among those clubs impacted and they resumed practice as scheduled Sunday.

That isn't the case for their rivals up north. The Cleveland Browns canceled practice Sunday and reported they were among the teams impacted by positive cases.

“Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positives tests from each of the clubs serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey,” the NFL said in a statement released Sunday morning. “We are working with our testing partner, BioReference, to investigate these results, while the clubs work to confirm or rule out the positive tests.  Clubs are taking immediate precautionary measures as outlined in the NFL-NFLPA’s health and safety protocols to include contact tracing, isolation of individuals and temporarily adjusting the schedule, where appropriate.  The other laboratories used for NFL testing have not had similar results.”

Cleveland.com reporter Mary Kay Cabot reported the Browns had double-digit positive tests. The Browns sent out a statement confirming players, coaches and support staff were among those testing positive.

“After consistently receiving encouraging results from daily testing since returning to the facility in July, the Cleveland Browns’ COVID-19 testing process conducted yesterday initially indicates multiple individual presumptive positive cases that include players, coaches and support staff,” the Browns said in their statement. “Although, we have received indication from the NFL that they are investigating irregularities in lab results that have also impacted other clubs, out of an abundance of caution, we will immediately follow our comprehensive Infectious Disease Emergency Response plan and pause any activity in our building today and conduct meetings virtually. As per plan procedure, the team is also diligently reviewing proximity data for contact tracing and instructed self-isolation for those who tested positive and others as appropriate even though they all remain asymptomatic. Our facility is currently undergoing a thorough deep-cleaning and disinfecting process and is closed to all personnel for the day. We will provide updates as testing results are confirmed and more information is available.”

The Bengals underwent the testing process Saturday despite having the day off, but a team spokesperson indicated the club is serviced by a different lab than the ones in question in New Jersey.