Washington has virus case, 3 other teams add to COVID list

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera, center, watches from the sideline during a game against the New York Giants on Nov. 8 in Landover, Md.

The New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders put players on the NFL’s COVID-19 list Tuesday, and Washington had its first instance of someone in the organization testing positive for the coronavirus since the season began.

The NFL said there were 17 new confirmed positives among players and 35 among other personnel during testing from Nov. 8-14. That brings the league’s total to 95 players and 175 other personnel since Aug. 1, not counting new cases this week.

“It reflects the continued uptick that we’re seeing in places around the country,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer. “We’ve seen that throughout the course of our season, as our players, coaches and staff are exposed to others outside the team facility, we’re going to see these cases.”

After New York announced an unidentified player tested positive, Giants kicker Graham Gano landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Washington also placed injured defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis on the list after announcing a positive test.

The other players to go on the list Tuesday were Falcons wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner.

Sills said the NFL has identified nine people in recent weeks who were identified as “high-risk” close contacts who later tested positive after being isolated. But in a much larger number of cases, there have been no “high-risk” contacts, indicating that teams are following the protocols, Sills said.

Sills also said the league has done whole genome sequencing on players who test positive and most of the transmission has come from contacts in the community.

Washington’s positive test result was the team’s first since July. A person with direct knowledge of the situation said the player who tested positive did not travel with Washington for its game at Detroit last weekend. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not release specific details about the positive case.

Ioannidis has been on injured reserve since Sept. 29.

Washington, which is set to host Cincinnati on Sunday, was one of the few teams that hadn’t had a positive result and is now in the NFL’s intensive protocols. Meetings will be conducted virtually this week, and the practice facility will only be open to staff with limited access for players.

Washington announced on Monday that no fans will be allowed for the Bengals game after hosting 3,000 on Nov. 8 against the Giants. FedEx Field is in Landover, Maryland, and the nearby Baltimore Ravens also took the step of barring fans for their next game as cases spike around the United States.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.