New England Patriots

Jun 5, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tackle Dan Skipper (72) works out with other players during mandatory minicamp at the Gillette Stadium practice field. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are one of a number of teams across the NFL that got caught up in a wave of false positive tests for COVID-19 over the weekend. Albert Breer of The MMQB was first to report the Patriots’ involvement.

In total, 77 false positive COVID tests were reported among 11 NFL teams. They could be traced back to a single lab in New Jersey called BioReference. According to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, all 77 players who tested positive got re-tested and came back negative.

The Patriots had 11 absences on Sunday, a new high for 2020 training camp. Seven of the absences were new and not reported to be injury-related.

BioReference issued a statement on the matter on Monday, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The statement read, in part: “Our investigation indicated that these were most likely false positive results, caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory. Reagents, analyzers, and staff were all ruled out as possible causes and subsequent testing has indicated that the issue has been resolved.”

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Asked about the reports of false positive tests and how the Patriots plan to handle such a situation should it arise during the season, head coach Bill Belichick said: “Yeah, I think that’s a question you should ask the league. You know, they put out the statement. I’m sure they could answer questions about it if you have them. We’re going to control what we can control and focus on that. So that’s what we’ve got to do and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

The Patriots are scheduled to begin their next practice at 10 a.m. on Monday in Foxboro. Be sure to keep checking back here at for more Patriots training camp coverage.

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