The Winnipeg Jets are refusing comment on a recent report there could be more players testing positive for COVID-19.

The Winnipeg Jets are refusing comment on a recent report there could be more players testing positive for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli posted on Twitter he has heard the Jets are bracing for more positive COVID-19 tests within the locker room. He added the team is waiting on additional lab-based results that are being processed overnight and that a clearer picture of what they could be facing will be determined Thursday.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Jets captain Blake Wheeler is out of action until he recovers from COVID-19. </p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jets captain Blake Wheeler is out of action until he recovers from COVID-19.

A spokesperson for the Jets said Wednesday afternoon that nothing has been confirmed and they have no comment regarding the report.

Seravalli later pulled back on the report, noting that at least one of the Jets positive tests had been confirmed negative, adding that it's possible a majority of the roster will be cleared to play against the Anaheim Ducks in Winnipeg's season-opener Thursday.

The former TSN insider called it a "fluid situation."

The Jets announced earlier this week that captain Blake Wheeler had entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, and on Tuesday confirmed he had tested positive for the coronavirus. It's unclear how Wheeler — who is fully vaccinated, along with the rest of the Jets organization — contracted COVID-19.

Wheeler, who has been reported to be suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, is required, under NHL protocols, to remain in quarantine for a minimum of 10 days, and must be symptom-free before re-joining the team. He won't be eligible to return to Winnipeg until at least Oct. 29, meaning he will miss a minimum of four more games.

The entire roster was tested Monday morning before practice, and again Tuesday prior to their morning skate, with all tests coming back negative. That allowed for the club to wrap up its three-game road trip with an otherwise full squad against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center Tuesday night.

The Jets use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which are the best available tests at catching COVID-19 at its earliest stages, but because it takes time to infect a person, players who tested negative one day are still capable of testing positive days later as it continues to infiltrate the system.

"I thought it was a little bit tight (Monday)," Jets coach Paul Maurice noted when asked about the mood around the team after learning of Wheeler's status. "We had to bump practice back a few minutes just to make sure all the other tests came back. And then I thought we were good this morning, kind of over it and ready to go."

The Jets feared there could be more cases, even with the negative tests earlier in the week. Since Wheeler's positive test, Winnipeg has reinstated more stringent health protocols, including wearing masks and social distancing when possible. They're also being tested daily.

It's unclear what the Jets are dealing with at the moment; they were off Wednesday after flying home after the game. An update should be provided following Thursday's morning skate, ahead of the Jets game against the Ducks.

 

jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.ca

twitter: @jeffkhamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.