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Panthers surprise healthcare workers who administer their COVID tests

The team offered a VIP treatment to the frontline workers "as soon as it's safe as possible."

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On a chilly and rainy morning, Carolina Panthers free safety Tre Boston waltzed out to give some major props to a group working extra hard this year.

"First off all, y'all know y'all my family," Boston said to the healthcare workers standing in front of him. "I appreciate everything that y'all do. The team appreciates everything that y'all do."

These particular healthcare workers administer COVID-19 tests to Panthers players, staff and coaches and often wake up before the sun is up to start the arduous process. 

"From being here 5 a.m. in the morning, to have y'all here in the cold means a lot to us and the organization," Boston expressed.

Then, he pulled out the big surprise.

"As soon as it's safe as possible -- we pray next year -- we would love to put y'all in a suite next year, have y'all at a game, give y'all the VIP experience," Boston announced to many surprised faces. "And that's just a small token from the organization and us as well."

Boston, who is from Florida originally but played at the University of North Carolina and was drafted by the Panthers in 2014, went on to thank them for their great attitudes throughout the pandemic.

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"Y'all don't complain," Boston mentioned. "I come in here and try to give y'all some energy in the morning. I know how hard it can be just standing here."

The healthcare workers thanks Boston for his positive vibes, too.

"We all look forward to you coming in, too, because you really kind of keep us going and on our toes," one of the healthcare workers responded. "You really bring so much great energy."

"That means a lot to me," Boston said. "I try."

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Boston told them they consider the healthcare workers to be a "piece of the team."

"You guys make this run each and every day," Boston expressed. "If we don't come and see y'all first thing in the morning, we don't get to come inside period."

The NFL has set up COVID-19 testing for all teams. If a player tests positive, they are to go into isolation and are not allowed to access any team facilities or be in direct contact with any team members or personnel. 

The Panthers play the New Orleans Saints Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.