PHILADELPHIA — Eagles coach Doug Pederson remains “extremely optimistic” about the prospects of playing a football season in 2020, even after contracting the coronavirus himself.
“My confidence hasn’t changed at all,” Pederson said Monday in his first comments since testing positive. “I’m confident that we are going to play.”
Pederson, who held an impromptu team meeting Sunday night to deliver the news of his positive test to his players, said that he is feeling “great” and that his “energy level is high.”
Quarantining at home but away from his family, he did not give a timetable for his return to the Eagles’ NovaCare facility. NFL protocol stipulates that asymptomatic employees have to test negative twice within a five-day period or wait 10 days before gaining access to team facilities.
Pederson is running meetings virtually for now, while assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley mans the day-to-day operations.
Press Taylor, the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, was sent home after the team learned of Pederson’s positive result because he had been in close contact with Pederson, sources said. Taylor has tested negative for COVID-19 to date.
It is believed that Pederson contracted the virus away from the practice facility. Last week, he said he felt “extremely safe” at work, and restated that belief Monday.
“I want to reiterate the fact that I’m very comfortable and confident that the protocols that we have in place at NovaCare are for the best interest of the football team and all those that enter that building,” he said. “It still is a very safe environment, and one of the things that we all need to learn and what I need to learn, taking away from this, is obviously we need to protect ourselves when we are in the community away from the building, continue to wash our hands, wear our mask, do the social distancing that medical teams and doctors have prescribed.”