Detroit Lions’ Darrell Bevell, other coaches may not be available Saturday due to COVID-19 protocols

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions are already on their second coach of the NFL season, and according to NFL Network, they might soon need a third.

The network reported Wednesday that interim head coach Darrell Bevell and “almost all” of the Lions’ defensive staff members are considered close contacts to a COVID-19 positive and their availability for Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is uncertain.

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The Lions reported two positive COVID-19 tests Tuesday, practice squad linebacker Anthony Pittman and an unnamed staff member. The team announced Wednesday morning there were no new positive tests, but that several coaches would remain away from the team facility until further notice due to contact tracing. 

The team would not say which coaches would be isolated, but that the Lions “anticipate conducting an outdoor practice this afternoon and our players and coaches will continue to meet virtually this morning.”

The Lions worked remotely on Tuesday after cancelling their walk-through practice.

Along with the COVID positives, a league source told the Free Press late Tuesday that one Lions defensive assistant was determined not to be wearing his contact tracing device at all times and another had an in-person meeting in his office.

Under the NFL’s intensive protocols, in-person contact away from the practice field is limited.

NFL Network reported that the Lions’ COVID cases stem from travel. The Lions played the Tennessee Titans last week in Nashville, which has one of the highest COVID positive rates in the country.

At the team hotel, players and coaches were seen walking through the public lobby of their team hotel after meetings and on their way to busses before departing for the game.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Saturday’s game remains on as scheduled for now.

Bevell is scheduled to speak with the media at 11 a.m.

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