BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Ravens snapped their losing streak Tuesday night with a 34-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys. But, the win was overshadowed by questions of whether the game should have been played at all considering the fact that Ravens receiver Dez Bryant tested positive for COVID-19 just prior to the game.

The league explained the decision to continue on with the game on Tuesday night when spokesman Brian McCarthy told ProFootballTalk that contact tracing protocols were followed and no “high risk contacts” were found.

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“Contact tracing was conducted from yesterday and today using the contact tracing device and the standard interviews,” McCarthy said via email to PFT. “There were no high-risk contacts identified.”

While that contact tracing may have determined that nobody on the Ravens was high-risk from contact with Bryant, there’s still some questions to be answered. Bryant was seen on the field pre-game hugging and saying hello to his old teammates and members of the Cowboys organization.

McCarthy told PFT that Bryant’s daily PCR sample had returned an inconclusive result early last night, which then triggered an on-site test that showed the receiver was positive. The whole situation calls to mind one that we saw unfold during Game 6 of the World Series when Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was pulled from the game in the top of the eighth inning after the team learned of his positive test result. But, further reporting indicated that Turner had an inconclusive test that the Dodgers and MLB learned of earlier in the day before the positive test.

Turner, in a decision that baffled many onlookers, came out onto the field to celebrate with teammates despite having tested positive. Unsurprisingly, the organization experienced a COVID outbreak days later.

The same situation could certainly unfold here given that Bryant was on the field pre-game despite the inconclusive test. As PFT pointed out, the close proximity of the lab doing the testing, BioReference Laboratories, likely saved the league from a Turner-esque situation of Bryant playing in the game with an inconclusive result.

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This isn’t to blame Bryant or the Ravens for the way the situation was handled. The league spokesman stated that the protocols were followed. But, it does raise the question, much as the Turner situation did for MLB, whether the NFL should have allowed the game to go on considering the circumstances.

CBS Baltimore Staff