Lions clear Matthew Stafford after “false-positive”

Getty Images

The Lions activated quarterback Matthew Stafford from the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, declaring his inclusion on the list a false-positive.

Stafford was placed on the list Saturday, but the Lions say subsequent tests indicate he had not contracted the virus.

“As a result of a False-Positive test result, he was forced due to NFL/NFLPA protocols to sit out until he received two negative tests,” the team said in a statement. “His testing sequence for the Pre-Entry period was: negative, negative, False-Positive. The next three tests were all negative. To be clear, Matthew does NOT have COVID-19 and never has had COVID-19 and the test in question was a False-Positive. Also, all of Matthew’s family have been tested and everyone is negative.”

That’s certainly good news for the Stafford family, and the Lions in general. But it also raises serious questions about testing during the season, with the possibility that an erroneous test result late in a week could take key players off the field.