The Rams cancelled practice on Friday, supposedly as an “abundance of caution” arising from a pair of positive test results generated on Thursday. Coach Sean McVay told reporters on Thursday that both persons who preliminarily tested positive have since tested negative, twice.
“I was made aware late last night, that two people from our organization, one player, one staff member tested positive,” McVay said. “Then they retested, both of those came out negative, and then again, this morning, both of those results were negative. So that’s a really good thing for us. As a result of the precautionary measures, we did cancel practice, but we still took part in virtual meetings. We did our finalizing our game plans, all those types of things.”
It sounds like McVay welcomed the opportunity to cancel Friday’s practice.
“It wasn’t exclusive to just those results,” he said. “We had always known, kind of going into this game, that we were going to treat this in between a short week and kind of like a Thursday preparation as well. Because of that, what we wanted to really be able to do was get the meetings, give our players another day off their feet. Then you guys have been out there, it’s like a tornado, like a wind tunnel out there at our facilities. So to get a lot of the work that you would like to get, as far as throwing and catching, things like that, that limited our availability to get that done. So tomorrow we’ll have a little bit longer walk-through, kind of an all-encompassing deal and in a lot of instances, for those of you guys that have covered us for the last few years, it’ll be very similar to what we had to do when we played Seattle and the fires forced us to miss the Friday practice, where we actually did an extended walk-through at USC.”
McVay said that he actually had gotten word of the second negative test for both individuals on Thursday night.
“Actually, last night I had gotten confirmation that the second test for both of those individuals was in fact negative,” McVay said. “You had to wait until this morning at around 8:45 [a.m. PT] to confirm those second negatives to then be able to operate accordingly. But like I said, it was a combination of that, but then also the weather had a huge part in it. I think just considering our guys, being able to get their rest. So there was a lot of things that factored into it. But if you guys were out there, in terms of really being intentional of getting work in, unless you’re really doing kind of an above-the-neck jog-through, which we’ll be able to do tomorrow, I felt like that was the best decision. Had the weather been different, maybe I would have had a little bit different approach and waited, but I do think it’s also a really good thing for our players with how much we’ve traveled, with it being a short week and it was a credit to how they handled yesterday that made me feel comfortable making that decision.”
In other words, the Rams apparently could have practiced on Friday, but the weather and the short week prompted McVay to decide not to practice. None of that was mentioned in the out-of-the-blue announcement, which sounded an unnecessary alarm and perhaps made the 49ers wonder whether the game suddenly was on the road to a potential postponement.
That’s not to say McVay was deliberately messing with his next opponent. However, it’s now obvious that the canceled practice had a lot more to do with the weather and the fact that the team played Monday night than with concerns regarding an actual outbreak, “abundance of caution” or otherwise.