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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Here is why Dez Bryant was allowed to participate in pregame warmups despite COVID situation

Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant was pulled off the field during pregame warmups about 30 minutes prior to kickoff between his Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday, and we’re receiving more information about the situation. Namely, many are wondering why Bryant was allowed to participate in the warmups in the first place.

So here is what happened.

Bryant returned an inconclusive test on Tuesday morning, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. A rerun of the test was also inconclusive, though the Ravens did not receive the results until the evening. Bryant was given a point of care test after the team learned the results of the second inconclusive test. The point of care test was positive. That is why Bryant was pulled off the field.

Why was the game allowed to take place despite Bryant being around his teammates while potentially positive for COVID-19? The NFL reviewed the situation to determine whether there were any high-risk close contacts. They decided there weren’t any.

High-risk contacts are defined as prolonged exposure (such as being within six feet of someone who is positive for more than 15 minutes). Bryant may have had brief interactions with players pregame, but those were not for extended periods of time where they would be flagged.

The Ravens had a bad COVID-19 outbreak that led their scheduled Thanksgiving game against the Steelers to be postponed three times. A consequence to that game’s postponement was the Ravens’ game against the Cowboys in Week 13 also being pushed back.

You can say that the NFL was not being cautious enough with its handling of the Bryant situation, but they proved a few weeks ago how careful they are.

Photo: AJ Guel/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

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