The NFL just can’t seem to escape this whole COVID-19 thing.
Several teams — including the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — reportedly had players test positive for the coronavirus within the last week or so. Even stars like Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot and Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller have contracted the virus, proving no player is immune to the disease, asymptomatic or not.
But apparently, there might be more teams battling the virus upfront than first reported.
Around 10 teams have reported positive coronavirus tests for at least one player, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. This prompted the NFL Players’ Association’s decision to recommend players not partake in group workouts until training camps begin later this summer out of concern for the players’ health and safety.
Players aren’t the only ones getting infected, either. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was the first person in the NFL to officially test positive for the virus in mid-March, though he recovered a short time later.
Most recently, a Bucs assistant coach and two assistants tested positive for the virus. Since then, two players have tested positive for the virus, bringing the team’s grand total up to five. And they likely won’t be the last ones to return positive tests, either.
So, what will the league do about it? The NFLPA already has said the league will test players at least three times a week once activities resume. It also reportedly is considering an altered helmet that could lessen the chance of players passing or contracting the virus while practicing or competing, among other considerations.
All things considered, director of the NIAID Dr. Anthony Fauci still isn’t convinced the NFL should play their 2020 season as scheduled. And, according to ESPN’s report, some anonymous players are concerned about “the sheer volume of positive tests in college and professional football is alarming for game weeks, and how the virus can deplete a roster.”
So, yeah. Stay tuned.