PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – AUGUST 1
By Leo Haggerty
COVID HITS NFL
The pandemic has now moved on to professional football. Well, like I’ve said earlier, I’m not surprised. It was inevitable as we’ve witnessed the results of the other pro sports leagues as they attempted to get their season back on track.
Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have been struggling to keep players coronavirus free. The NBA, with its “bubble” approach, has had more luck accomplishing that feat as opposed to MLB which has allowed their teams to travel to different cities leading to outbreaks on three franchises in the first week of the campaign.
As we matriculate into August, 25 of the 32 National Football League teams have placed players on what is being referred to as the Reserve/Covid-19 injury list. This includes not only players that have tested positive for the coronovirus but also those players that have been in close proximity to individuals who have tested positive.
What the NBA and MLB have been able to do, up to this point, is keep its marquee players from testing positive. That’s not the case for the NFL with one of their top-tier players being placed on the pandemic IR list.
The Detroit Lions announced today that star quarterback Matthew Stafford has been placed on the Reserve/Covid 19 list. This was due to the results from tests conducted on Friday.
That brings the Lions total to eight players that have tested positive or been exposed to the coronavirus. With the way we have seen this spread, especially through the Big League baseball, that list will expand in the next week or two.
So far, the “bubble” protocol used by the NBA, as well as the National Hockey League, seems to be the best alternative. The problem is that MLB and the NFL just have too many individuals to adopt that kind of policy.
For that reason, I believe this will just be the tip of the iceberg because of the sheer numbers that the NFL deals with on a daily basis. The odds of others catching the virus are just too great to be ignored with the enormous number of people that go through a pro football training facility on a daily basis and I may be included in that number as a member of the media that has requested credentials.
Hopefully, the NFL has learned from the mistakes that other leagues went through. If they haven’t, pro football could be heading for the biggest epic fail of all.