Report: Texans had batch of false positive COVID-19 tests before Steelers game

The Houston Texans had a brief COVID-19 scare ahead of their matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

The Texans, league sources told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, had a “batch” of false positive coronavirus tests for multiple players before the game, something that could have sidelined part or all of the team and postponed the game.

However additional tests, per the report, all came back negative. The game went off without a hitch at Heinz Field, where the Steelers won 28-21 to hand Houston its third straight loss.

It’s unclear how many players and staff had initially tested positive before the game.

A Houston Texans helmet
A group of Texans players reportedly had false positive coronavirus tests before their matchup with the Steelers. (AP/David J. Phillip)

Latest false positives in the NFL

BioReference Laboratories in New Jersey runs testing for the NFL and processed the Texans’ false positive tests last week. The situation, though not nearly as widespread, was similar to an outbreak last month.

Seventy-seven players and personnel on 11 different teams initially tested positive for the coronavirus last month, an alarming influx of cases after the league had started practices and had been seeing positive cases decrease.

All of those tests were later determined to be false positives, most likely “caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory.”

The Texans have yet to have any players test positive since the season started. They are set to host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and are planning to allow more than 13,000 fans attend the game at NRG Stadium, per the Houston Chronicle.

There have been more than 7.1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Monday night, according to The New York Times, and more than 204,700 deaths attributed to it. The country has averaged more than 43,000 new cases a day over the past week. The virus has been spiking in Texas recently, too. The state has reported more than 48,000 new cases in the past seven days, more than double that of any other state in the country.

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