DETROIT – Detroit Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell and four assistants will be forced to sit out Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay after two individuals in the organization tested positive for COVID-19.
After the Lions let go head of coach Matt Patricia, Bevell stepped in as interim coach for the team. Now the Lions will have an interim coach to replace their interim coach who has to sit out Saturday’s game against the Buccaneers due to the NFL’s COVID protocols.
Two members of the Lions’ organization -- a player and a staff member -- tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Due to the NFL’s contact tracing protocols, several coaches are deemed “close contacts” and high risk and have to stay away from the team and their facility.
Now, with Bevell and several coaches unable to participate in Saturday’s game -- including defensive coordinator Cory Undlin and three position coaches -- the organization has selected six assistant coaches who will assume interim responsibilities on game day:
- Wide Receivers Coach Robert Prince (head coach)
- Quarterbacks Coach Sean Ryan (offensive play caller)
- Head Coach Assistant/Research & Analysis Evan Rothstein (defensive play caller)
- Defensive Assistant Tony Carter (defensive backs)
- Director of Football Research David Corrao (linebackers)
- William Clay Ford Minority Coaching Assistant Ty Warren (defensive line)
Bevell said on Thursday that the Detroit Lions asked the NFL to move Saturday’s game due to the virus, but they were denied.
On game day, Bevell won’t be able to communicate with the interim coaches. NFL rules state that the coaches can’t have any contact, so the assistant coaches stepping in will be all on their own.
Bevell is the NFL’s first head coach to miss a game because of COVID protocols, even though he has not tested positive for the virus.