The U.S. National Football League, after at least three weeks with no new COVID-19 cases, saw three teams with positive cases, this time including two senior management officials.
A statement from the Denver Broncos said General Manager John Elway and team Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis each tested positive for the virus early this week. The team said after their review of contact-tracing data with the league, they “are confident these cases originated independently outside team facilities.” Both executives are reported to have minor symptoms.
The Baltimore Ravens and the Green Bay Packers each had a player with a positive test result Monday, though the tests for both players were given before they played in games Sunday. Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey and Packers running back A.J. Dillion each were tested before their respective games Sunday.
Through contact tracing, two other Packers players — running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin — were determined to be high-risk after close contact with Dillion. All three will be quarantined and ineligible to play in the Packers game with the San Francisco 49ers scheduled for Thursday night. That game will be played as scheduled.
Humphrey will not play in Sunday’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts. NFL reporter Tom Pelissero says the team noted Tuesday that six players were found to have had game-day contact with Humphrey and have been added to the team’s COVID-19 list. They also will not play in Sunday’s scheduled game. The team has not yet released the other players’ names.
After discovery of infected Packers and Ravens players on the field Sunday, the NFL issued a memo announcing new game-day protocols for players, including the strong recommendation for all players and personnel to wear masks or double-layered neck gaiters when not actively participating in the game.
The memo said, “Wearing a mask or approved face covering may be the difference between being designated a 'High Risk Close Contact'” and not being required to miss games.