Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end T.J. Hockenson both confirmed they tested positive for the COVID-19 virus when they reported for training camp at the end of July.
Both players were placed on the league’s COVID reserve list on July 29. Golladay was activated seven days later, while Hockenson was out for 10 days.
Interestingly, it was Golladay who acknowledged having symptoms, the worst of which was a fever that lasted multiple days. According to the league’s protocols, a player with symptoms cannot be activated until 10 days after symptoms first appeared and 72 hours after they were last exhibited.
“I’m 100 percent and happy to be on the field right now, and that’s all that matters,” Golladay said.
Hockenson said he was caught off guard by his positive test because he was asymptomatic. Excited to return to work after several months off, Hockenson said having to quarantine was a bummer.
“Pretty lonely, really,” Hockenson said in a video call after the team’s first on-field practice on Monday. “There wasn’t a whole lot going on. Fortunately, I didn’t have any symptoms. It was kind of a surprise to test positive for that. And then to spend a week away from the teammates was tough. It was a week for me to get mentally prepared for camp, and actually my father brought a bunch of weights up and I was able to do some things in the garage while I was doing that.”
Testing positive while being asymptomatic was eye-opening for the second-year player out of Iowa.
“It’s definitely not something you want to mess with,” Hockenson said. “It’s something I didn’t want to give my family members. The community of people my age don’t take it as seriously as they should. It’s one of those things that you need to do the right things and be quarantined if you have it and all those steps they give us. It was something that I learned that I just didn’t want to give it to anybody — my teammates, my family. You just don’t want to put anybody at risk because you know how deadly it was, no matter if I had symptoms or not.”
In total, the Lions placed eight on the COVID-19 reserve list prior to players being permitted to enter the team’s practice facility. From that group, quarterback Matthew Stafford’s test ended up being a well-publicized false-positive. Like Hockenson and Golladay, cornerback Justin Coleman, punter Arryn Siposs and safety Jalen Elliott are known to have tested positive for the virus.
All eight players have been cleared and activated.