Detroit Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell is the first head coach of an NFL team to miss a game due to COVID-19 protocols, although he has not tested positive for coronavirus.
“It’s the kind of time we live in now,” Bevell lamented.
The Lions (5-9) will also not have defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, defensive line coach Bo Davis, defensive backs coach Steve Gregory and linebackers coach Ty McKenzie for tomorrow’s game against Tampa Bay (9-5 ).
Wide receivers coach Robert Prince will be Detroit’s third head coach this season when the Lions host the Buccaneers at Ford Field, who are one win away from securing a postseason berth. Bevell is 1-2 after the firing of Matt Patricia last month.
The Lions will have two people assigning plays for the first time in an NFL game.
Quarterback coach Sean Ryan will take over from Bevell, who also serves as the team’s offensive coordinator. Evan Rothstein, who assists the team in research and analysis, will select the plays on defense.
Bevell said he had not tested positive for COVID-19, but was one of the trainers affected by the contact tracing.
“Yes, I have been wearing my masks,” he pointed out.
The Lions closed their training facilities Tuesday after a player and a coach tested positive for coronavirus. The team resumed its preparations on the court Wednesday and Thursday for the clash with Tampa Bay.
While the NFL has adjusted its game schedule to help teams deal with COVID-19 outbreaks, Detroit’s request that Saturday’s game be postponed to a later date was denied by the league perhaps because the team no longer aspires to the playoffs.