Lions say Stafford's test was a false positive

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Photo credit FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2016, file photo, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford smiles on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field in Detroit. The Lions removed Stafford from the COVID-IR list, saying he received a false positive test result. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
By The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions removed Matthew Stafford from the COVID-IR list, saying he received a false positive test result — and drawing the ire of the quarterback's wife toward the NFL.

The list was created for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with an infected person. Stafford was listed on it Saturday, but the team said Tuesday his testing sequence for the pre-entry period was: negative, negative, false positive -- then 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,” the team said in a statement. “Also, all of Matthew’s family have been tested and everyone is negative.”

Stafford's placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list was big news because of his stature in the game and because of the health issues his family recently has dealt with. His wife Kelly had surgery last year to remove a brain tumor.

Kelly Stafford had plenty to say on her Instagram page Tuesday.

“Even after we knew it was false positive, our school told us they were not allowed back, I was approached in a grocery store and told I was ‘endangering others,’ my kids were harassed and kicked off a playground, I was told I needed to wait in my car when trying to pick up food, and people closest to us had to get tested just so they could go back to work.. and that's just to name a few things," she said. “I don't blame these scenarios on any of the people directly involved.. I understand where they are coming from, but I do blame the @NFL. I blame the @NFL for not holding themselves accountable. These are people's lives and livelihoods that are in those results in THEIR test sites. Maybe we should be absolutely positive a person has covid before releasing that info to the world.”

Players on the COVID-19 list have been listed in the league's transaction reports. The Lions have not been commenting further about players' health when they are put on the list.

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