A Buccaneers assistant coach has tested positive for COVID-19, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Pursuant to the club’s safety protocols, two other assistants have been quarantined.
Fortunately, the coach that tested positive was asymptomatic, but as we creep closer to training camp and as more people return to team facilities, reports like these may become more common. The continued refinement of protocols and the expected increase of testing will be key in determining whether the league will be able to push forward with training camp and the regular season as it hopes.
The NFL permitted coaches to return to their respective facilities on June 5, though as Greg Auman of The Athletic points out, Tampa Bay’s coaches did not return until Monday, June 15. Auman also notes that positive tests are especially troublesome for the Bucs’ staff, which features a number of older coaches (including HC Bruce Arians, 67).
Of course, with training camp still over a month away, there is no cause for alarm just yet. Still, Tampa Bay is now the seventh team to have a player or coach diagnosed with COVID-19, which is not surprising, but it does underscore the difficulties that the league and its medical staff are facing.