Despite testing positive for COVID-19, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is still confident there will be a 2020 NFL season.
The Eagles are already in an altered training camp and the beginning of the season is still scheduled for Sept. 13 in Washington.
Pederson says things are still full-steam ahead:
My confidence hasn’t changed at all. I’m extremely optimistic,” Pederson said on a Zoom call with reporters Monday afternoon. “I feel like we’re going to play. I’m confident that we’re going to play.
“It’s unfortunate. Like I told my team last night, this virus, it holds no prejudices, right? It doesn’t matter. It can affect any one of us. I’m sure many of you have had family members or loved ones or people you know who have been affected by this virus. That part of it doesn’t matter. It’s just the fact that we’ve got to abide by the protocols that are in place. They’re in place for a reason, our safety. Our building is a great place to be. It is a safe place to be for our players and our coaches and all who are involved.
“I’m looking forward. It’s full-steam ahead for me. Obviously, I’m itching to get back in the building at some point and be around our players and get these guys ready for a season.
Pederson, 52, informed his team that he tested positive on Sunday night. He is quarantining away from his family in his South Jersey home until he’s allowed to return to the NovaCare Complex. Pederson is asymptomatic and said he’s feeling great. He’ll continue to coach virtually and assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley will handle any in-person head coaching responsibilities.
According to the NFL’s protocol, Pederson might not miss too much time. He will be allowed to return if either 10 days have passed since his first positive test or five days have passed and he tests negative twice at least 24 hours apart during those five days. The Eagles’ head physician must also sign off on Pederson’s return to the building. So he could theoretically be back at the NovaCare Complex later this week.
Pederson on Monday noted that he’s lucky he contracted the virus now and not during the season. There’s a chance he might not miss any of the Eagles’ practices.
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