Stafford appeared Saturday on the COVID-19/reserve list, which means a player either has taken a test that has come back positive or has been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Lions, in a statement released Tuesday, said Stafford never had COVID-19 and instead had a false positive test after two negative coronavirus tests last Tuesday and Wednesday. Then, on Friday, Stafford took a test that came back positive on Saturday.
His following 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,” the Lions said in a statement. “Also, all of Matthew’s family have been tested and everyone is negative.”
Stafford was the first starting quarterback to go on the COVID-19/reserve list and, at the time, the eighth Detroit player on the list. Since then, tight end Isaac Nauta, starting slot corner Justin Coleman and Stafford have been removed from the list, leaving on it T.J. Hockenson, Kenny Golladay, Jalen Elliott, Arryn Siposs and Amani Oruwariye.
False positive tests, though, are something Lions players are paying attention to because of what it could mean to a team if it happened during the regular season, which could cause a player to miss a game.
“I mean, it’s one of those things that are going to be questionable for sure but at the end of the day we knew coming into this that there were going to be situations like this,” linebacker Jarrad Davis said. “It’s just something that we have to hope the NFL and NFLPA can continue to work at to, I guess, knock things out, knock situations out that are going to come up like this.
“Yeah, this might be the first one that we’ve heard about but I’m sure that there’s more that are going to happen. So we just got to, hopefully they come up with a better way or continue to work on the way that we’re doing it to test everybody and I’m confident that everything will work out how it needs to.”