Brian Allen, a center for the Los Angeles Rams, is the first active N.F.L. player to publicly acknowledge he tested positive for the coronavirus, the team confirmed late Wednesday night. Through the team, Allen said he was feeling well and was not in the hospital.
Allen, 24, is entering his third year in the league, and is the Rams’ starting center. He attended Michigan State. He joins New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton as major N.F.L. figures who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Allen reported experiencing some symptoms of the virus, including the loss of his sense of taste and smell, as far back as three weeks ago. “I lost all sense of smell to the point where I had smelling salts here, I cracked them open, put them to my nose and nothing happened,” he told Fox Sports. “All I could feel was texture in my mouth — literally, it was the only sense I had.”
Allen had been rehabilitating from an injury at the team’s training facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif. when the positive test came in a few weeks ago. Rams Coach Sean McVay said that after the test, the Rams closed the facility, in accordance with a leaguewide shutdown mandated by the N.F.L. In a memo sent to teams on March 24, Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered that teams close their buildings to all but essential workers until April 8. The Los Angeles Times reported that it had since reopened on a limited basis.
The Rams had previously declined to answer questions about whether anyone with the organization had tested positive, citing privacy concerns.
Based on public statements about the disease, the N.B.A. has been the hardest hit North American league, with several players testing positive. The first confirmed case was the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, who drew criticism because he had earlier made light of the virus by touching reporters’ notebooks and microphones. His teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive, followed by Kevin Durant of the Nets, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and several other players, not all of whom were publicly named.
Sydney Wiese of the Los Angeles Sparks was the first W.N.B.A. player to confirm a positive test. Like Allen, she lost her sense of taste and smell, although she said last week that she had recovered.
The sprawling world of soccer has tens of thousands of international athletes and, unsurprisingly, its share of coronavirus cases. Paulo Dybala of Juventus, Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea and Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta are among the highest-profile names to have confirmed positive tests.
While no M.L.B. players are known to have tested positive, the Yankees announced that two unnamed minor leagues in their system had.