NFL COVID-19 Outbreak
The NFL had its first cases just three weeks into the season. The Tennessee Titans had a total of 20 cases within the organization. While the Titans weren’t the only team with positive cases. The New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons each had results come back positive.
The Titans had two positive cases prior to their week three game against Minnesota. After the Sept. 27 game against the Vikings the Titans had the positive cases pile up. Each day of the following week the Titans received news of someone who had the virus. Of the 20 total cases for the Titans, 10 were players and 10 were team personnel (coaches, water boys, trainers, etc.) With the outbreak and the Titans losing 20 people to quarantine, they had to postpone their week four game against the Steelers. That put the NFL on high alert. As a result, the NFL had to edit the schedules of both teams. The NFL had to make sure that both of the teams still got a bye week and still have 16 games on the schedule. When it was all said and done, the NFL did just that, they adjusted the bye week for both teams and mixed some of the remaining games so that any team involved still gets all their games in.
One of the most positive aspects of this outbreak of the Titans is this; the Minnesota Vikings had no cases after playing the Titans.
The players and team personnel who got a positive test result have to do what anybody else would do: isolate. As we all know, at that point all you can do is wait. In the NFL if the person who was positive shows no symptoms for 10 days or they have had two negative tests within five days, 24 hours apart that person is allowed to go back to their team. If the person has symptoms they have to wait 10 days from when symptoms started and 72 hours had to have passed since they last experienced symptoms, all information provided by sportingnews.com.
Two of the highest profile players in the league had positives tests come back. Both players are New England Patriots; Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore. Cam Newton sat out their week 4 matchup against the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Stephon Gilmore did play against the Chiefs, however, he was not reported positive until Oct. 7. So it is unclear when exactly he contracted the virus.
This past week has been a rough one for the NFL. They have had multiple new cases over multiple teams. A scary thought is the season being suspended. Just when we thought we would have normalcy to our lives. Over the last week the New York Jets had a case and closed their facilities. More games have been postponed or moved to later dates. ESPN wrote “There were only 58 positive tests among more than 330,000 NFL tests administered between Aug. 1 and Sept. 26. There were 26 positives between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3, and the bulk of those came from Tennessee.” ESPN reported what NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said “We have said all along that we expect positive cases.”
As far as the NFL is concerned, something like this was expected, there is no need to panic. Everybody involved in the NFL is prepared to do whatever it takes to complete the 2020 NFL season.