Less than an hour prior to kickoff of the Dallas Cowboys-Baltimore Ravens game on Tuesday night, Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, via Twitter.
Shortly after, the Ravens announced "WR Dez Bryant has been scratched from tonight's game due to an illness."
Following his initial tweet, Bryant sent another that stated: "Yea I'm going to go ahead and call it a quit for the rest of the season .. I can't deal with this." Bryant continued tweeting throughout the evening and later added, "Yea I'm coming back... I'm being smart."
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports all other Ravens players tested negative for the coronavirus, no high-risk close contacts were identified. The game started on schedule.
Bryant's daily PCR test taken on Tuesday morning came back Tuesday night was inconclusive, Pelissero reported. The test was rerun and was once again inconclusive. Bryant was then pulled off the field for a point-of-care test, which was positive for the coronavirus.
Unlike other NFL clubs, the Ravens are so close to the lab that they receive their results back on the same day, rather than overnight, according to Pelissero. Therefore, with an 8:05 p.m. ET kickoff for the game, the rerun and retest process all played out with Bryant at the stadium prior to him being pulled.
The game was originally scheduled to be played on last Thursday to kick off Week 13, but was pushed back due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Ravens organization which resulted in the team's Week 12 game versus the Steelers being rescheduled multiple times.
Prior to being signed by the Ravens midway through this season, Bryant hadn't played in the NFL since 2017, when he ended a successful eight-year run with the Cowboys, who selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Though he's played sparingly with Baltimore -- just 69 snaps in three games with four receptions -- it's possible the abrupt news ahead of playing his former team could've led to his tweet about being done for the season.
"Understandably an emotional few hours," Pelissero tweeted.