Covid-19 troubles NFL

Calvin Darnell, Staff Writer

The NFL knew when it opened back up this season that Covid-19 cases were going to pop up. It wasn’t as much of a what happens if cases pop up, but more so how they will react when the cases pop up. 

Many teams such as the Falcons, Chiefs, and Patriots have had between one and three cases. While some teams have had zero positive tests, Covid-19 seems to be very prevalent in the NFL. The Titans are the big headline of the outbreak as they have had an estimated 23 players test positive. The big controversy is that the Titans seemingly had a player test positive days before a game and did not shut down their facilities. In fact, the Titans still played the game against the Minnesota Vikings that Sunday. Days later it was announced that nine Titans players tested positive for Covid-19.

The Titans have not faced any trouble so far; however, they did lose their bye week due to having to postpone a game to a later date. As well, the Titans were not allowed to practice or be in the team facility until every player tested negative. Before the next week, Patriots Quarterback Cam Newton as well as Cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive. The Chiefs who played the Patriots then had several practice squad players test positive. 

On October 5, zero NFL players had positive tests; thus, all the games were played as scheduled. However just three days later, more Titans players had positive tests, so more games were postponed. A few days later, the first false positive test in the form of a Jets player was released. Then, more and more Titans and Patriots players tested positive, postponing several games. As of October 12, zero NFL players had positive tests, and the next day a Falcons player tested positive. As of October 21, zero active NFL players are positive; however, many players are on the Covid-19 list. Several practice squad players are currently positive; however, they simply are put onto the Covid-19 list (a list of players who are not allowed to participate in any team activities or be in team facilities) if the active roster has zero positive tests.

Several NFL teams have been fined due to not following NFL policies regarding sending players home. The NFL has very strict guidelines that the teams must follow in order to open their team facilities if a player contracts Covid-19. The teams already have to be tested every single day, and they must wear masks in any team facilities when not playing. There is currently no plan as to what the commissioner and his staff will do to combat the virus more than they already are.