In early August, Matthew Stafford was put on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. It turned out to be a false positive.
Stafford is going back on the list four days before the Detroit Lions are to play the Minnesota Vikings, the team announced.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 4, 2020
The list does not mean a player tested positive. A player can also go on the list if he has had exposure to someone else who has been infected.
Kelly: Staffords test negative
After the Lions announcement, Stafford’s wife Kelly Stafford announced in an Instagram story that the entire Stafford family tested negative after a potential exposure to COVID-19.
“We are fine,” Kelly said. “We are all negative. My husband is negative. There was just a certain exposure. So we have been testing since our exposure, and we are all negative.
“I’ll keep you guys updated if that changes.”
Because of the COVID-19 incubation period, the risk remains that the Staffords could test positive at a later date.
Stafford was a "high-risk, close contact" from a non-team member and his last contact was Monday, which means he would be eligible to come off the reserve list and play on Sunday if he has continued negative tests according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Stafford missed Wednesday’s practice and the team did not disclose why at the time. Top receiver Kenny Golladay is also going to miss Sunday’s game against the Vikings due to a hip injury.
An addition to the NFL’s rules in late October stated if a player has a “high risk” close contact, he must remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list “until at least five days have passed since the date on which the player was last in contact with the infected individual.”
The Lions have not yet stated if Stafford will miss Sunday’s game. If Stafford is ruled out, Chase Daniel will likely get the start for Detroit, which is 3-4 and in danger of falling way behind in the NFC playoff picture.
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