Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney initially missed the beginning portion of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a foot injury from the offseason. Now, he’s going to miss the rest of the season due to a complication from COVID-19.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott told reporters on Monday that Sweeney will be out the rest of the season after meeting with a cardiologist last week. The doctor diagnosed Sweeney with myocarditis, or an inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall. McDermott said it was related to COVID-19. The test was performed as part of the NFL and NFLPA agreement on returning from practice after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Sweeney was exposed to COVID-19 earlier this season. Fellow tight end Dawson Knox tested positive for the virus on October 24 and Sweeney was subsequently placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list as a close contact along with several other tight ends on the roster. Sweeney had tested negative up to that point, but we’re not going to directly say that Knox gave Sweeney the coronavirus. He later tested positive.
McDermott says Sweeney is in good spirits.
Sweeney is the first NFL player we know of to be diagnosed with the ailment. Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is the highest-profile athlete diagnosed with myocarditis, but it’s affected a number of athletes.