- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Washington Redskins rookie had coronavirus, but is now recovered.

Wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden tested positive for the virus, making him the first current Redskins player known to have contracted COVID-19. Former Redskins great Dexter Manley has also been diagnosed with the disease, but is recovering.

Gandy-Golden, who the Redskins took in the fourth round out of Liberty, announced the news Wednesday in a statement through his agent. He joins Denver’s Von Miller and the Rams’ Brian Allen as the only NFL players to have come forward with their diagnosis.

“During my pre-draft training, I tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24,” Gandy-Golden said in a statement Wednesday. “My symptoms thankfully were mild, but I self-quarantined for two weeks and followed all guidelines from health experts. I was fully cleared April 7.”

When Gandy-Golden spoke with local reporters late last month, he did not mention that he had dealt with coronavirus. Asked about his preparation amid the pandemic, Gandy-Golden said it was important to develop a routine.

The NFL Network reported Gandy-Golden has participated in the Redskins‘ virtual offseason program.

“I feel 100% now and can’t wait to get on the field for the Redskins ASAP!” Gandy-Golden said in his statement.

Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. appeared to reference Gandy-Golden’s diagnosis hours earlier in an interview with Fox News, when he said a student who had graduated tested positive for COVID-19 while preparing for the NFL draft. Liberty has faced criticism for opening up its campus in March amid the pandemic.

Responding to an email inquiry from The Associated Press, a Liberty spokesman pointed to Falwell’s comments with a paragraph from the school’s website that does not specifically mention the former football player. The site references a graduated student who tested positive for the coronavirus on March 24 but was not on campus during the two weeks prior.

“Prior information that the graduated student came to an on campus clinic was incorrect,” it said. “While the student lives in Lynchburg with family, the location of infection cannot be pinpointed, in part, because the graduated student traveled to Florida on business in the two-week period before the test.”

The Redskins drafted Gandy-Golden to give quarterback Dwayne Haskins receiving help. The 6-foot-4 wideout is coming off a successful college season in which he had the fourth-most receiving yards in the nation with 1,396.

Gandy-Golden, 22, is expected to come in and compete for a starting role opposite budding star Terry McLaurin.

Gandy-Golden’s revelation comes a day after Hall of Famer John Riggins provided an update on Manley, the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks who played in Washington from 1981 to 1989. 

Manley, 61, had been admitted to the hospital on Friday after battling breathing issues and a fever between 101 and 104 degrees. He first tested positive on May 2, his daughter told The Washington Post. The former defensive lineman’s symptoms had worsened, and doctors later determined he had developed pneumonia.

But on his podcast “Riggo the Diesel,” Riggins said Manley was “doing much better.”

“I’m not sure he was ever really that ill, but his oxygen levels were a little low,” Riggins said. “They put him on oxygen, he has never been on a ventilator. All of this stuff is improving as we speak. He’s still got a little ways to go.”

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