USA Today Sports
The Broncos having no quarterbacks available for Sunday’s game against the Saints may have been the strangest thing that happened to the team last week, but it’s not the only weird thing that happened.
The NFL acknowledges that a “mistake” was made by a technician at BioReference Laboratories administering a point-of-care COVID-19 test to a member of the Broncos coaching staff. According to several sources, the error involved the calibration process of a POC testing machine.
The test technician uses a trace of a synthetic compound used to calibrate the POC test machine. Somehow that compound last week ended up on a tampon that ended up in the assistant coach’s nose.
A league source insists there were no concerns that the coach was infected or that there was a risk of live virus transmission. However, the coach tested positive through the POC process, and the coach walked away from the experience with concern that he may have been infected. The coach was absent from work for a day, although he was not infected.
As a source explained, the president of BioReference Laboratories called the trainer to apologize personally.
Contacted for comment on the incident, the spokesperson for BioReference Laboratories said the company “does not comment on specific tests on individuals or internal testing protocols.”
While mistakes are inevitable when so many tests are administered (NFL teams have submitted over 700,000 this season), some contexts make mistakes that are much less tolerable than accidentally giving someone the sausage instead of the bacon with his breakfast order. In this context, the substance used to trigger a positive test result on a POC testing machine should never accidentally end up in the nose of a person being tested, whether the company performs 700,000 tests or 700 million of them. .