Falcons shut down facility after reporting positive COVID-19 test

The Atlanta Falcons announced Thursday they are shutting down their practice facility due to a positive COVID-19 test.

“Out of an abundance of caution following one new positive test, we have made the decision to stop all in-person work at IBM Performance Field Thursday and will conduct all operations virtually,” the Falcons said in a statement. “This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials. The health and safety of our team is our highest priority.”

The Falcons are slated to play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The Tennessee Titans recently had an outbreak that led to a 17-day stoppage

Atlanta placed rookie defensive tackle Marlon Davidson on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. The team has been under heightened levels of protocol since then after not practicing Tuesday and coming back Wednesday. Rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell was the first player to test positive for the coronavirus once the season started. He recently came off the COVID-19 reserve list.

Helmets sit on the ground during the Atlanta Falcons workout.

Davidson became the ninth member of the Falcons — the other seven in training camp and two during the regular season — placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

The NFL this week updated its COVID-19 protocols to mandate that any player who had “high-risk” contact exposure to someone who tested positive must isolate for five days.

The Falcons named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris interim head coach after firing Dan Quinn on Sunday following an 0-5 start to the 2020 campaign. Atlanta owner Arthur Blank also fired longtime general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 

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