The Ravens have another COVID-19 situation on their hands. They pulled Dez Bryant off the field during warmups, and the veteran announced (via Twitter) he was informed he tested positive for the coronavirus.
We are less than a half-hour from the start of what would have been a reunion game for Bryant, but he is now out of tonight’s Ravens-Cowboys matchup. Known for announcing news of his career on his Twitter account, the 32-year-old receiver subsequently said he no longer intends to play this season (Twitter link). That would be an interesting development, considering how long the former Cowboys Pro Bowler spent trying to return to the NFL, but this season has obviously featured numerous unusual announcements.
As of 6:50pm CT, Week 13’s Baltimore-Dallas game remains a go. But considering what the Ravens just went through with the virus, this could be a sticky situation. Contact tracing could lead the Ravens to pulling other players out of tonight’s game. This news transpiring so close to kickoff represents a new hurdle for the NFL in this historically unusual season.
After the season began, the NFL moved to game-day testing. Interestingly, no other Ravens tested positive and no Bryant high-risk close contacts have been identified, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The NFL’s latest Tuesday game will still take place. This confusing situation went down because a Tuesday-morning Bryant PCR test twice came back inconclusive and a subsequent point-of-care test came back positive, according to Pelissero (on Twitter).
The Ravens signed Bryant to their practice squad earlier this season and have used him sparingly in multiple games. Bryant caught four passes for 28 yards in Week 11 against the Titans and played in last week’s Steelers game — one that featured a decimated Ravens squad after their COVID outbreak. The Ravens still have several players on their reserve/COVID list, including pass catchers Mark Andrews and Willie Snead.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.