Seahawks receiver John Ursua was “extremely shocked” to find out late Saturday night that he had tested positive for COVID-19, he said in an interview with a Honolulu TV station Monday.
But Ursua, who was the first and so far only Seahawk player to test positive, said in the interview on KHON2 he has since had a negative test and hopes that he may have had a “false positive” and may soon be able to return to the team.
The NFL recently altered its COVID-19 testing protocols in the wake of Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford’s false positive test.
If Ursua has a second negative test and is asymptomatic, he can be cleared to return to the team. Ursua told KHON2 he has no symptoms.
Ursua, a second-year receiver who played at Hawaii and is a native of Kailua-Kona, was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday, the first and so far only Seahawks player to go on the list. The Seahawks through Saturday had been one of six teams to have zero players test positive, according to ProFootballTalk.com.
Players can go on the list if they test positive or have been in close contact with someone who has. Teams are under instructions not to comment, per an agreement with the NFL Players Association, but Ursua’s comments Monday add clarity to his situation.
Ursua said he was stunned given the protocols the Seahawks have in place to try to prevent exposure to the virus, including food being delivered to rooms, masks being worn at workouts and social distancing practices that have included virtual meetings, and in-person meetings in small groups.
“We are living a pretty isolated life right now,” Ursua said, adding that the Seahawks “are doing a great job.”
Because his next test following the positive test was a negative, Ursua is hoping he also had a false positive.
“I’ve been hearing a lot about how there are a lot of false positives out there so I was just kind of crossing my fingers, hoping that everything would be OK,” Ursua said.
Ursua told KHON2 he hopes to receive the result of the third test by Tuesday morning at the latest.
“It’s just been a crazy experience to just see that I tested positive one day and then the very next day I tested negative,” Ursua said.
While on the reserve list Ursua does not count against the 80-man training camp roster limit and he can come back at any time.
Seattle is down to 77 players on its active roster after waiving cornerback Brian Allen and running back Anthony Jones.
The Seahawks will begin a “ramp-up” period on Wednesday in which teams can take the field for practice for the first time, though initially only in helmets and approved protective shirts and shorts/sweats.
Full-pads practices will begin Aug. 17.
Ursua was a seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft expected to compete for a roster spot this year as a slot receiver after making one catch for 11 yards last season.
Through Monday, 106 players have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list with 75 having since been activated off of it.