The Ravens were shocked to find out minutes before their Tuesday night matchup with the Dallas Cowboys that wide receiver Dez Bryant would be unable to play after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The first thought for many online was that the Ravens still had yet to get their initial COVID-19 outbreak under control, but according to Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, there's no evidence that the initial outbreak and Bryant's positive result are in any way linked.
After several days of reporting multiple positive tests two weeks ago prompting the highly-anticipated Ravens-Steelers Thanksgiving night matchup to be rescheduled three times, the Ravens had gone a full week without a single positive test. As noted, this means the incubation period timelines wouldn't match up for Bryant's test to be connected to the past outbreak throughout the team.
Still, his high-profile revenge game against the Cowboys was put on hold after the veteran wideout's Tuesday morning test result was inconclusive, prompting a follow-up quick test. After warming up on the field, Bryant was pulled and deemed unable to play, prompting a string of tweets from the receiver and several disappointed teammates.
Bryant noted during his Twitter thread Tuesday night that part of his confusion was the fact that he's had the same routine every day since returning to the NFL midseason.
However it happened, the Ravens were forced to pull Bryant from the field in order to try to keep all players and staff safe. The NFL claimed during the game that they had gone through all contact tracing protocols and that no players on either team were deemed to be high-risk close contacts.