By Anthony Lundy ‘21
Although there is a global pandemic rapidly spreading across the United States, the NFL leaders have decided to play the season even with all risks. As the NFL has approached its thirteenth week of football, we have seen numerous cases of coronavirus leading to multiple athletes sitting out because of it.
The start of COVID in the NFL came from the Tennessee Titans when 24 players were a part of this outbreak delaying two of their games, which have since been made up. Another COVID related story is the San Francisco 49ers have been banned from their stadium due to their county’s COVID policies on contact sports. This will occur for the upcoming weeks of their home games.
The craziest story is that the Denver Broncos quarterbacks all had COVID so they made a practice squad wide receiver, Kendall Hinton, play quarterback for them because the NFL would not let them delay their game. The issue with that is how they played their game with no delayed time. On the contrary, the Ravens and Steelers game was delayed even though there were just a few cases from both teams.
The issue here is that the NFL knows that the fans love watching football and they do not want to be disappointed. This is why the NFL is pushing for all these games to still be played. If they follow the protocols correctly, then they will have no issues with COVID, but that is not the case for these athletes. Knowing that, the NFL should not be delaying games in the week. If the athletes get COVID, they should have to use the practice squad athletes like they did for the Denver Broncos. It is only fair for every team to get the same treatment as one another.
As a major fan of football, when it comes down to the playoffs and Super Bowl, what will happen then? I do believe that when playoffs come around, there should be no waiting around for another team to have a fully restored roster ready to play. What you have left over is what you have to use and if you can not make anything work out, then you should have to take the loss. The other team is doing their best to stay healthy and the fact that they are and the opposing team is unhealthy is not fair.
The NFL leaders need to understand the risks that are being taken and need to realize that they are throwing these athletes into the fire of COVID by making them play, so they should expect the cautions that could occur due to the pandemic. Although there have been increased cases this season for the NFL, they have done a pretty good job handling COVID because with football being a high contact risk sport, there should be more cases.