You’ve got to hand it to Bob Quinn. He knows how to read a room. Even virtually.
The Detroit Lions general manager knows he’s not exactly adored these days at NFL headquarters because of the snafu one month ago involving quarterback Matthew Stafford’s false positive test for COVID-19.
“I think, as (Lions president Rod Wood) could probably attest, a few people at the league office probably don’t like me right now because I pick up the phone when stuff goes wrong,” Quinn said Monday, speaking at the Lions’ annual kickoff luncheon, hosted virtually by the Detroit Economic Club.
Quinn said the league and the players’ association have been doing a good job with the changing nature of what we’re learning about the virus. He acknowledged perfect testing and results were never promised as the NFL rolled out a league-wide testing system when players returned for training camp this summer.
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“The one thing they’re very aware of is the science is changing, there’s things that come up in the testing that’s not perfect,” he said. “They never told us the testing was going to be perfect. We wish it would be.”
But when a false positive test on July 31 affected the face of the Lions’ franchise, Quinn let the NFL know how unhappy he was. He said his communication with the NFL has been appreciated because league officials remain scattered as they work remotely, and have a hard time understanding the testing challenges each of the 32 teams face.
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“They just get a sheet of data at the end of the day about who tests positive, who doesn’t,” Quinn said. “They don’t know how it is minute-by-minute. And they don’t know how it worked with Matthew’s case. His life got disrupted for 48 hours at a high level. And we were very, very concerned with that.
“What I’ll always do in my job is I will always protect our players 100%. I will protect our players in every way I can. And I think we did that with Matthew. There will be some adjustments with the protocol.”
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