Was Matthew Stafford’s COVID-19 test a false positive?


The Detroit Lions announced good news Tuesday and also seemed to vent frustration via the following team statement: 

Today we removed Matthew Stafford from the COVID-IR list and onto the Active Roster. As a result of a False-Positive test result, he was forced due to NFL/NFLPA protocols to sit out until he received two negative tests. His testing sequence for the Pre-Entry period was: negative, negative, False-Positive. The next three tests were all negative. To be clear, Matthew does NOT have COVID-19 and never has had COVID-19 and the test in question was a False-Positive. Also, all of Matthew’s family have been tested and everyone is negative.

Detroit placed the 32-year-old quarterback on its reserve COVID-19 list over the weekend. 

Stafford, a one-time Pro Bowl signal-caller, missed eight games last season due to what Grant Gordon of NFL.com described as “tiny, non-displaced fractures in the upper thoracic spine.”

Supposed false positive coronavirus test results have become common throughout the sports world since the pandemic caused leagues to halt play back in March. Last Friday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears reported the Sacramento Kings believed one of their players returned a false positive test result while inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex bubble site. 

The NHL, MLB, English Premier League, UFC, PGA Tour, Major League Soccer and National Women’s Soccer League are among entities that have either reported false positive results or questioned the accuracy of coronavirus tests.