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Los Angeles Rams center, Brian Allen, is now the first active NFL player to test positive for the coronavirus, according to a report on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old said he started to feel symptoms about three weeks ago, after waking up and realizing he couldn’t smell or taste anything, according to Fox Sports Jay Glazier — who first reported Allen had tested positive.
“The first thing he said was, ‘I woke up three weeks ago, I couldn’t smell anything I lost all sense of smell to the point where I had smelling salts here, I cracked them open, put them to my nose and nothing happened,'” said Glazier. “Then he lost his sense of taste. He said, ‘All I could feel was texture in my mouth — literally the only sense I had.'”
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Allen told the network it was different from any other flu he’s had. He said other symptoms included headaches, a sore throat, and fatigue.
The center was re-evaluated last week where he reportedly tested positive again — although he’s expected to be cleared of the virus this week.
Rams Head Coach Sean McVay confirmed the diagnosis and said Allen is recovering during an interview on Fox Sports.
“I talked to him yesterday. I’m really glad to hear he’s feeling good, he’s healthy and he’s on the road to recovery,” McVay said, according to NFL.com. “I think we all understand that the severity of what this has meant for some people, fortunately for Brian, he’s on the road to recovery. I think he did a great job of letting us know right away so we could be timely in our response and making sure that we didn’t expose anybody else to that.”
Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen blocks during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland last September. Allen said Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago. Allen is the first active NFL player to acknowledge testing positive during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
Allen, entering his third year in the NFL, had been training and undergoing treatment for a knee injury at the Rams facility in California. The facilities have since been closed for the past two weeks and cleaned thoroughly, a team spokesperson told ESPN.
Last month, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton was the first person in the NFL to test positive for the virus. Payton told WWL Radio he was cleared a week after announcing his diagnosis.
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The Los Angeles Chargers last week revealed a positive test and symptoms for unidentified members of their organization, but the Rams hadn’t acknowledged Allen’s positive test at the time.
Rams general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay both dodged the question last week when asked if any members of the organization had fallen ill.
“Everybody is doing really well,” McVay said at the time. “There’s been a couple guys that we’ve had some conversations with, but they’re in a good place right now.”
Allen was drafted in the fourth round by the Rams in 2018 after playing college football at Michigan State. He’s expected to start this upcoming season.
He started nine games for the Rams before suffering a knee injury during the team’s disappointing 8-8 season last year. The Rams had lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII following the 2018 season.
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Allen told Fox Sports that in his case, having COVID-19 wasn’t as bad compared to what others with underlying health conditions may be facing throughout the U.S.
The Associated Press contributed to this report