ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills sent their rookies home from the team’s facility Thursday as a response to five positive coronavirus tests this week, the team told ESPN in a statement.
Bills defensive backs Dane Jackson and Siran Neal were placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, with a league source telling ESPN that both players tested positive for the coronavirus, leading the team to decide to conduct the day’s meetings virtually.
Players also can be placed on the COVID-19 list if they came into contact with someone who is a known carrier.
“As we were informed by medical experts as training camp opened, we expected to have positive tests for COVID,” the team said in a statement to ESPN. “With 5 since the beginning of the testing period last Tuesday, we decided to take a disciplined, proactive and preventative approach to hopefully eliminate additional cases within our team.”
Under the NFL’s training camp mandate, players must register three negative tests in a five-day span to enter the facility. Although teams are not required to shut down their facility for a positive test, the Bills chose to minimize risk by sending players home for the day.
The Bills’ rookies first reported on July 21 to begin testing. The rookie who tested positive Thursday did so after registering three negative tests, a league source said.
According to league sources, Jackson and Neal are asymptomatic. Neal’s first test Tuesday also came back negative, while his test Wednesday was positive, a source said.
A player who tests positive can be tested again after five days if he remains asymptomatic during that span. Neal is isolating while he awaits the results of a third test, a source said.
Undrafted rookie cornerback Ike Brown was the first Bills player to be placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, followed by defensive tackle Vincent Taylor and wide receiver Duke Williams on Wednesday.