The Detroit Lions will head to Minnesota this weekend to face the Vikings in a game that will be pivotal for their hopes of possibly making the playoffs. At 3-4, Detroit needs a win to get back to .500 on the season and keep at least some contact with the 5-3 Bears for a shot at second in the division and a wild card berth.
However, it now seems very possible that they will have to beat the Vikings without the services of their starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, as the team announced on Wednesday that Stafford was being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
As their statement notes, teams do not disclose whether a player that goes on the Reserve/COVID-19 list has tested positive or if it is due to close contact with someone who has and they have had to enter quarantine. There is obviously a big difference in the two, and the protocols for both are laid out here.
The NFL last night sent to clubs COVID-19 protocols for 2020 training camp and preseason, including this detailed breakdown for handling individuals exposed to someone who tested positive: pic.twitter.com/bX7aQzMZTZ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 4, 2020
If this is due to a positive test, Stafford would not play Sunday and, possibly, could miss their game against the Washington Football Team next week as he would enter a 10-day quarantine. Should it be due to close contact, it would require a negative test and increased daily testing and symptom monitoring for Stafford to return. If he cannot play, Chase Daniel would get the start in his place for Detroit.
The top priority is, of course, the health of Stafford and those around him, and hopefully he and anyone else near him who has tested positive are able to be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and make a full and speedy recovery.