Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for COVID-19.
What We Know:
- The team announced the news on Sunday, saying Pederson is “asymptomatic and well”. Pederson gathered the players for an unscheduled team meeting to share the news with them before the statement was released. Pederson was tested twice to confirm the diagnosis, both results being positive. He is quarantining and continuing to communicate with the team and medical staff.
- Pederson’s positive test adds to the growing uncertainty around the NFL season. The NFL will operate similarly to the MLB with games being held at each team’s home stadiums. The MLB has already encountered serious problems with this as it’s difficult to contain and isolate the disease with teams being all over the country, let alone play baseball games. Several MLB teams are experiencing coronavirus outbreaks and games have already been postponed. As a preventative measure, the NFL canceled the preseason.
- Pederson will have to be away from the Eagles for at least five days and needs to register two negative tests. Assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley will take over while Pederson is away. Staley played for the Eagles as a running back from 1997 to 2003 and joined the coaching staff in 2011. Pederson said he would feel “extremely safe” reentering the work environment.
- Pederson is entering his fifth season as head coach of the Eagles. The team has excelled during his tenure, going 38-26 over the last four seasons and making the playoffs three years in a row. The crowning achievement was the team’s Super Bowl victory in 2018.
- Pederson is the second NFL coach to contract the virus. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton tested positive back in March.
The NFL season will kick-off in just over a month with the Houston Texans and reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs playing on September 10.