Ex-Michigan State OL Brian Allen first active NFL player to test positive for COVID-19

Detroit News staff and wires

Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen, formerly of Michigan State, says he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago.

Allen is the first active NFL player to acknowledge testing positive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brian Allen

The third-year pro is not hospitalized and is "feeling good," according to a statement issued by the Rams on Wednesday night, after Allen spoke to Fox Sports about his positive test.

Allen became the team's starting center last season. He played in nine games before missing the rest of the year with a knee injury.

Allen is expected to start at center again this season. He was a fourth-round draft pick out of Michigan State in 2018, playing largely on special teams as a rookie.

Allen played at Michigan State from 2014-17, appearing in 51 games (38 starts). He was voted a team captain as a senior.

The 24-year-old Allen was training and rehabilitating at the Rams' training complex when he began to feel symptoms last month. He told Fox Sports' Jay Glazer that he lost his sense of smell and taste, and they haven't returned even after his other symptoms abated.

"Lost all smell and taste to where he couldn’t even smell an ammonia smelling-salt," Glazer tweeted about Allen. "Has no taste. 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."

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton revealed last month that he tested positive for the virus. The Los Angeles Chargers last week revealed a positive test and symptoms for unidentified members of their organization, but the Rams hadn't acknowledged Allen's positive test.

Rams general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay both dodged the question last week when asked if any members of the organization had fallen ill.

"Everybody is doing really well," McVay said at the time. "There's been a couple guys that we've had some conversations with, but they're in a good place right now."