Los Angeles Rams' Brian Allen Becomes First Known NFL Player to Test Positive for Coronavirus

While the NFL has not revealed whether any of its other players have tested positive, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton did and has since recovered

NFL: JAN 31 Super Bowl LIII - Rams Press Conference

Brian Allen has become the first confirmed NFL player to contract the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

FOX NFL Sunday‘s Jay Glazer announced the news on Wednesday in a video shared on FOX Sports: NFL’s Twitter and a statement posted to his own Twitter account, saying the Los Angeles Rams player “tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago” and “again early last week.” A rep for the Rams also confirms to PEOPLE that Allen tested positive.

“Lost all smell and taste to where he couldn’t even smell an ammonia smelling-salt. Has no taste,” Glazer’s statement read. “Then the flu began. Says he’s now finally symptom-free and thankfully expecting the ‘all clear’ this week!”

“Rams had to close their facility weeks ago to injured players (facilities are only open for medical) but are able to re-open next week,” he added.

In the video, Glazer went on to say that doctors told Allen, a 24-year-old center for the Rams, that though he is now “symptom-free,” it could take anywhere from six to eight months to fully regain his senses of smell and taste but Allen also said his “case wasn’t as bad” as many who contract the virus.

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While the NFL has not revealed whether any of its other players have tested positive for COVID-19, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton did contract the virus but has seemingly made a full recovery as of late March.

Last month, the coach explained on Louisiana radio show Sports Talk with Bobby Hebert & Kristian Garic that when he began to experience “some flu-like symptoms,” he got tested for the virus and began to self-quarantine the following day.

“I was cleared yesterday,” said Payton, 56, on March 25. “It’s been quite a process, and you spend a lot of time trying to learn as much as you can about it. We’re certainly seeing it on the news 24/7.”

“I’ve been fortunate,” the coach noted of his health, adding that he was “feeling a lot better.”

Super Bowl XLIV
Sean Payton. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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As of Thursday morning, 636,917 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, with 28,586 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

Johns Hopkins University reports that, worldwide, there have been more than 2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 138,101 deaths.

The number of confirmed U.S. cases continues to be the largest in the world by far, at more than three times that of the next highest country (Spain).

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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