NFL

Atlanta Falcons’ Week 6 Game at Minnesota Vikings ‘in Jeopardy’ After Multiple Positive COVID-19 Tests

The Atlanta Falcons are shutting down their team facility after multiple reported positive COVID-19 tests.

ESPN reported the Falcons, now led by interim head coach Raheem Morris had four positive tests on Thursday, October 15. Atlanta is scheduled to play at the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

That game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said, is now in jeopardy.

Neither the Falcons nor the Minnesota Vikings have had games postponed yet this season. 

Atlanta potentially had multiple positive COVID-19 tests

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The Atlanta Falcons are the NFL’s latest team experiencing the coronavirus pandemic’s unyielding wrath.

ESPN reported Thurdsay that the Falcons had had four positive tests. Atlanta previously placed rookie defensive lineman Marlon Davidson on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, October 14.

ESPN and NFL Media each later clarified there had been one confirmed positive test by a non-player.

Davidson, the 47th overall pick from Auburn, had four tackles and a pass breakup in his first three games. All four of those tackles came in Davidson’s Week 3 debut against the Chicago Bears.

Atlanta is currently working remotely. NFL Media reported that if the tests are false positives, Atlanta “could be back to work as soon as this afternoon.”

Atlanta and Minnesota do not share a bye week. Minnesota is off in Week 7, while the Falcons aren’t off until Week 10.

The Atlanta Falcons host the Detroit Lions next week. Detroit already had its bye week in Week 5. 

Depending on how the results go, the NFL could always opt to move Sunday’s game to next Monday or Tuesday night. Kansas City and Buffalo are already playing an earlier Monday game, however, because of previous COVID-19 issues involving the Tennessee Titans.

Buffalo played their Week 5 game on Tuesday, October 13. The NFL hadn’t had a Tuesday night game since 2010.

Tennessee defeated Buffalo, 42-16, in Nashville, Tenn.

The Falcons have had COVID-19 issues before

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The Atlanta Falcons have already dealt with COVID-19 issues this season.

Rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell was placed on the reserve/COVID list before the Falcons’ home game against Nick Foles and the Chicago Bears in Week 3.

Terrell was the first player to be placed on the virus list since the regular season began.

Luckily for the Falcons, they didn’t need to reschedule any of their games. Atlanta played in Week 3 without Terrell, although the Falcons may have wished they had the week off given the final result: an ugly 30-26 loss at home.

The NFL rescheduled multiple AFC games following the Titans’ mass outbreak earlier this month. 

Atlanta and Minnesota are both having seasons to forget

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A rash of positive COVID-19 tests came at the worst time for a reeling Atlanta Falcons team.

Atlanta is mired in one of their worst seasons in recent memories. Head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were each dismissed Sunday, hours after the Falcons lost at home to Carolina.

Atlanta named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris the interim coach on Monday. 

Minnesota, at 1-4, is still trying to find their footing. The Vikings have lost two of their last three games by one point. 

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer could soon find himself on the hot seat. Although Zimmer signed a three-year contract extension with Minnesota in July, the Vikings are on pace for their worst season under Zimmer. 

Minnesota hasn’t had a losing season since going 7-9 in 2014, Zimmer’s first year with the team.

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