Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers player who tested positive for COVID-19 was asymptomatic

Jul 1, 2020 at 9:14 AM--

It sounds like Matt Barrows of The Athletic knows which San Francisco 49ers player from last month's practices in Nashville tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Although, it is The Athletic's policy is not to name the player unless the team or player himself announces it.

That probably won't happen at this point. Not that it really matters.

The interesting tidbit from Barrows' most-recent mailbag article is that the player who tested positive was asymptomatic. That means he was not exhibiting or experiencing any of the known symptoms for the virus that has led to a nationwide pandemic and threatens the upcoming NFL season.

The fact that there were no symptoms could be a problem because, as Barrows notes, it shows just how easily COVID-19 can be passed from athlete to athlete without their knowing. It could happen during practices when players are engaged in close-contact drills or while socializing outside of those sessions.

It's not like the 49ers in Nashville were doing themselves any favors. Observations and videos showed very little concern for social distancing or wearing masks on the Brentwood Academy football field.

The NFLPA medical director, Dr. Thom Mayer, in June, issued a statement advising against player-organized practices, like the 49ers' in the Nashville area.

"We are working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season," Mayer said via the statement, "and believe that it is in the best interest of all players that we advise against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences."

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had been organizing the offseason player workouts, but he doesn't seem to be doing so since the NFLPA advisory. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne and rookie Brandon Aiyuk, however, took part in a workout with others on Tuesday at San Jose State.

Testing for the virus will be frequent among players when they start reporting to training camps later this month.

"The idea is that players who test positive will quickly be isolated from the group, hopefully before they have a chance to pass it on," writes Barrows.

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