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Speculation abounds as Buffalo Bills send rookies home from facility Thursday

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The Buffalo Bills sent their rookies back to their Western New York homes today instead of keeping them at the facility, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. This was to slow the potential spread of the coronavirus through the team facility.

UPDATE: The team sent out a press release just after 4 PM Eastern saying they have had five positive tests since the testing period began last Tuesday. “We decided to take a disciplined, proactive and preventative approacj to hopefully eliminate additional cases within our team,” the statement read in part. None of the five COVID-19-positive players have been inside the building at One Bills Drive. END UPDATE

“The Buffalo Bills today sent home all the rookies they had inside the building that were going to be part of meetings there,” said Garafolo at the 19-second mark of the clip embedded below. “The Bills have had some positive COVID tests that they’ve reported; they’ve got guys on the Reserve/COVID list.”

Buffalo has three players on the list right now including UDFA rookie cornerback Isaiah Brown. He would not have been at the facility today and been joining the meetings virtually anyway. When the teams place players on the list, they do not disclose if that player was on the list for testing positive or if they are on the list for being in close proximity to a positive test.

“What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to stay ahead of it,” continued Garafolo. “They said, ‘you know what? We were going to have these meetings here today, why don’t we just go and do it virtually?’ And they sent all those guys home and they are having all those meetings virtually. Then they will regather at the facility at some point, maybe as early as tomorrow and go forward. The Bills just trying to stay [as] ahead of it as they possibly can and all these teams learning it’s going to be a mix of in person and virtual anyway.”

Rookies were allowed to report last Tuesday for the first coronavirus screening, then they had two days of virtual meetings, before their second screening on Friday. After that, they passed their physicals are were allowed inside the building for in-person meetings and conditioning ramp up.

DT Vincent Taylor and WR Duke Williams were the other two players on the Reserve-COVID list.

“Seems like [the Buffalo Bills] may have had a small outbreak,” speculated Dr. David Chao, former NFL trainer and Twitter’s Pro Football Doc. “Veterans not in building yet. Would imply some positive tests for coaches, staff or rookie/early reports. Aggressively containing is the right approach.”