The Broncos not having any quarterbacks available for Sunday’s game against the Saints may have been the weirdest thing to happen to the team in the past week, but it’s not the only weird thing that happened.
The NFL acknowledges that an “error” was made by a BioReference Laboratories technician in administering a point-of-care COVID-19 test to a member of the Broncos’ coaching staff. Per multiple sources, the error involved the process for calibrating a POC testing machine.
The testing technician uses a trace amount of a synthetic compound used to calibrate the POC testing machine. Somehow, that compound last week ended up on a swab that ended up inside the nose of the assistant coach.
A league source insists that there was no concern that the coach was infected or that there was a risk of transmission of live virus. However, the coach tested positive via the POC process, and the coach came away from the experience with concern that he possibly had been infected. The coach was absent from work for a day, although he did not become infected.
As one source explained it, the president of BioReference Laboratories called the coach to personally apologize.
Contacted for comment regarding the incident, BioReference Laboratories spokesperson said that the company “does not comment on specific testing on individuals or internal testing protocols.”
Although mistakes are inevitable when so many tests are administered (the NFL’s teams have submitted to more than 700,000 this season), certain contexts make mistakes far less tolerable than accidentally giving someone sausage instead of bacon with their breakfast order. In this context, the substance used to trigger a positive test result on a POC testing machine should never accidentally end up inside the nose of anyone being tested, whether the company conducts 700,000 tests or 700 million of them.