Only in 2020 would something like this happen:
Dez Bryant's long-awaited date against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, taken from him just minutes before kickoff Tuesday.
Bryant, set for his fourth appearance in his comeback season with Baltimore, announced on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 during pre-game warmups. According to NFL media and reports, a previously-inconclusive test for Bryant was re-run and determined to be positive. Bryant was immediately sent home and the NFL's contact tracing procedures did not identify any high-risk contacts for the Ravens or Cowboys.
Tuesday's game – a 34-17 Ravens victory at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium – went on as scheduled.
Afterward, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he was told just before kickoff about Bryant's situation.
"I was informed as I was walking on the field before the kickoff. Obviously, if that is the case, I feel bad that he has the virus," McCarthy said. "I can't tell you who talked to who or so forth. I'm just going off what I was told."
Undoubtedly, Bryant was looking forward to this opportunity.
The Cowboys' all-time leader in touchdown catches (73) was a fan favorite in Dallas for eight seasons before his release in 2018, just three years into a five-year, $70 million contract extension signed in 2015.
In November 2018, Bryant suffered a torn Achilles' tendon the same week he signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. Two years later, after a long rehab and auditioning process, he earned a spot on the Ravens' practice squad and then their active roster this season.
During the past week, Bryant said there were no hard feelings about the way his Cowboys tenure ended. But he never got the chance to compete against his old teammates.
Clearly devastated by the news, he took to Twitter multiple times throughout the game and initially said he didn't want to play the rest of the season before backtracking on that comment later.
Bryant's former Cowboys teammates shared his frustration.
"Man, that's my brother. It's such a bummer what happened, man," linebacker Jaylon Smith said. "But I know how hard he's worked. I know how much of a competitor he is. I personally believe he can still play this game. Shout out to Dez."