The Atlanta Falcons have shut down their practice facility “out of abundance of caution” after there was a positive COVID-19 test.
The Falcons are scheduled to play the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday. At this time, there is no change to the status of the game.
The team expects to return to the facility on Friday. The team tweeted: “Out of an abundance of caution following one new positive test, we have made the decision to stop all in-person work at IBM Performance Field Thursday and will conduct all operations virtually.”
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Falcons announced that defensive tackle Marlon Davidson was being placed on the reserve/COVID list and that the team had entered in the NFL’s supplemental intensive protocols at IBM Performance Field.
NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills, in consultation with medical experts, determines when a club must follow the Post Exposure COVID Procedures, as well as when they are relieved of these additional steps.
These requirements include:
- In addition to daily PCR testing, all players and Tier 1 and 2 individuals must receive a daily POC test and test negative before entering the facility and commencing daily activities. This includes PCR and POC tests on game day.
- All meetings must occur virtually unless held outdoors or in an indoor facility with masks being worn by all.
- Whenever possible, activities will take place either outdoors or in large, open spaces.
- PPE/face masks must be worn on the practice fields by players and staff at all times – no exceptions. Oakley face shields affixed to helmets are permitted to be worn during practice and/or walk-thrus.
- Players may remove helmet/mask for breaks but should be greater than 6 feet distant from each other when unprotected.
- Gloves should also be worn on field by all players except quarterbacks who may leave the throwing hand uncovered.
- Players receiving medical treatment or rehabilitation must wear a mask and face shield. Medical providers must wear the same as well as gloves.
- Rehab that involves cardio work may be done out of doors with player unmasked as long as they are by themselves or supervised by one therapist at an appropriate distance.
- The weight room will be limited to no more than 10 players at any time regardless of the size of the room. Other personnel in the weight room are limited to five total when players are present. PPE is required.
- The facility will be deep cleaned daily.
- No team or player gatherings or group football activities will be permitted away from the facility.
- Club ICOs must review close contact information provided by IQVIA with the club general manager and coach on a daily basis.
Davidson is the second Falcons player to test positive for COVID-19.
Cornerback A.J. Terrell tested positive on Sept. 27 and he was also the first NFL player to miss a game because of coronavirus.
Just last weekend, Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank fired coach Dan Quinn and fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
The Falcons remain 0 and 5 this season after Sunday’s loss to Carolina.