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Free Press writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez on October 2, 2020, evaluate the Detroit Lions match (1

-2) with the New Orleans Saints (1-2).

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints will play at 1pm. started today as scheduled after the news that a Saints player tested positive for COVID-19 and that Matthew Stafford’s scare with the virus is one of the main reasons why.

Saints full-back Michael Burton, a former Lion, received a positive COVID-19 test after traveling with the team to Detroit, Pro Football Talk reported late Saturday evening.

Burton was retested twice and both tests were negative, according to Fox Sports.

Detroit Lions fullback Michael Burton (46) caries on a touchdown reception in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans on Monday, December 21, 2015. (Photo: Jonathan Bachman, Associated Press)

With no other known positive tests on either team, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email Sunday morning the Lions-Saints game will go ahead as planned.

The NFL changed its testing protocols in early August, after Stafford was briefly placed on the reserve / COVID-19 list, to allow asymptomatic players who test positive for the virus to run two more tests to confirm the diagnosis.

[ Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints: Here’s our scouting report, prediction ]

If both tests, including a point-of-care test, are negative, the initial test is considered positive unconfirmed and the player can immediately resume football activities.

Prior to the change, players who tested positive had to test negative for consecutive days before rejoining their team.

Stafford, who tested negative multiple times after his initial positive, spent three days on the reserve / COVID-19 list before Lions issued a strongly worded statement claiming that he was the victim of a false positive.

Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay celebrates his touchdown catch with quarterback Matthew Stafford during the first half on Sunday, September 27, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo: Rick Scuteri, AP)

“I think the important point I’d like to drive home, and it’s a bit of a technical point, is that we and others are clearly learning that not all positive tests mean a new case of COVID infection,” the medical officer. NFL chief Dr. Allen Sills said in August. “What I mean is that these tests are obviously looking at the effects the virus has on the body and the body’s response to those effects.

“So, in a way, I like to say that the COVID test shows us the footprints of the infection, but you can’t always tell from those footprints whether these are three hours or three days or three months. The footprints can be for a while. ‘of time. And this brings out why I say that not all positive test results indicate a new COVID infection. “

[[[[Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford: COVID-19 false positive “a little scary”]

Sills said the concern was with active positive cases that can be spread to others.

The NFL postponed two games this week due to concerns over COVID-19, moving today’s Tennessee Titans-Pittsburgh Steelers game to week 7 and delaying today’s Kansas City Chiefs-New England Patriots game until at least Monday or Tuesday. .

At least 18 members of the Titans organization have reportedly tested positive for the virus in the past week, although none of the team they played with last Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings, tested positive.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford speaks to manager Matt Patricia during training at Ford Field on Tuesday, September 2, 2020. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Both the Chiefs and the Patriots had positive COVID-19 cases at the end of the week, including New England quarterback Cam Newton. If multiple players from one of the teams test positive, the match may be rescheduled for the end of the season.

The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed this week to extend daily coronavirus tests indefinitely, and Lions coach Matt Patricia said the Tennessee COVID-19 outbreak was a reminder of everything. “COVID is still real.”

“We are in our world of testing every day, being under construction and trying to do everything right, but COVID is still real,” Patricia said. “It’s out there and we have to be careful, we have to do our diligence to take care of each other and take care of our families and the families of our teammates and just be disciplined.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. The Free Press has launched a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can access our most exclusive Lions content.