In the midst of a global pandemic, the Miami Dolphins are one of several teams dealing with the effects of the coronavirus.
The Dolphins confirmed Thursday that running back Malcolm Perry and linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel tested positive earlier this offseason but have already recovered.
Following the recovery, Perry and Van Ginkel, along with other players and staff members that have recovered from the virus, donated plasma to OneBlood in an effort to help patients fighting coronavirus.
“I was surprised initially but was happy because I was presented with the opportunity to give back and donate plasma and help people in need,” Perry said. “Being able to give back to people who weren’t fortunate enough to react the same way you did to the virus and give back to the community was important.”
Dr. Richard Levine, an infectious disease physician for Doctors Hospital, a part of Baptist Health South Florida, said transfusing convalescent plasma earlier in a coronavirus treatment can prevent the progression of the infection.
People who recover from coronavirus infection have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood, according to OneBlood. Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.
The Dolphins selected Perry in the seventh-round (246th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft but it’s unsure what position he’ll play. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound speedster could work as a slot receiver or third-down back for Miami.
As a senior at Navy, Perry lined up at quarterback, but did his damage on the ground, rushing for 2,017 yards and 21 touchdowns, setting the FBS record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season. Perry also led the nation in the most 10+ yard runs (65).
Van Ginkel was drafted by the Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2019 Draft. He began the season on the injured reserve due to a foot injury and only played in 6 games, recording one sack and 15 tackles.
On Monday, Miami placed three members of the team on the reserve/COVID-19 list: rookie long snapper Blake Ferguson, rookie defensive tackle Benito Jones and cornerback Cordea Tankersley.
Being placed on the list means two things: either the player has tested positive for COVID-19 or he’s been quarantined after having been in close contact with people that have. Per the NFL-NFLPA policy, teams are not allowed to disclose for which reason a player is added to the list.
Players will have to bring back two negative COVID-19 tests before being allowed to return. If a player tests positive, he can return at least 72 hours after symptoms have passed or at least 10 days after symptoms first appear, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Jones was taken off the list on Wednesday and can rejoin the team. Ferguson posted on his Twitter account on July 29 saying, “Thanks to all who’ve reached out over the last few days! I feel great and am excited to get back to football as soon as possible! God bless and Fins Up!”