COVID-19 Begins To Leave An Impact On The NFL Regular Season

Multiple NFL teams are beginning to see positive COVID-19 tests rise as the season progresses

Blake Robinson, Reporter

In 2020, every major sports organization has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The NBA has had to stop and resume their season, the MLB pushed back the start of their season, and now the NFL is beginning to have some problems of their own revolving around COVID-19.

Before the NFL season had begun, they already experienced some issues relating to COVID-19: they had to cancel the preseason due to the virus & many players opted out of the season for health-related reasons. Although only preseason games were canceled and no major stars had opted out of playing, and concern around whether or not the NFL would actually be able to play out a season had started to grow.

Despite these concerns, the season still began on time, and for a couple of weeks, it seemed like things were going well for the NFL. However, it wasn’t long before players and staff members of NFL teams began to test positive for COVID-19. On Sept. 24, Tennessee Titans defensive back Greg Mabin tested positive for the virus, the first reported virus the NFL had seen this season. Despite having a player test positive for the virus, the Titans still played their game that week against the Minnesota Vikings, with no Vikings players or staff testing positive after the game.

Soon after the game, it was announced that the Titans had eight more positive tests for the virus in the same day, with other positive tests following after. This large amount of positive tests lead to the NFL postponing and rescheduling the Titans’ next game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Vrabel, the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, stated to ESPN that they were “Very confident that we’ve followed the guidelines with the protocol that the league and the players’ association have set forth”. It was at this point that the NFL placed down even stricter guidelines regarding COVID-19, announcing new rules and regulations teams would have to follow from this point on.

Positive tests from players on multiple different teams began to come up, as New England Patriot starting quarterback Cam Newton and Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback Jordan Ta’amu both tested positive for the virus. This led to the game between the Chiefs and Patriots being postponed, although they did end up having the game in the end.

As the weeks went on, more players tested positive for COVID-19, and more games were postponed and rescheduled. Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots is the most recent of these rescheduled games, as they will now play Week 6 instead of Week 5.

More players test positive, more games get postponed, and more regulations are placed upon teams by the NFL as the season continues to progress. Uncertainty over the NFL’s season will continue to grow as the weeks go on, as fans are unsure if they will see a full regular season of football or not. Regardless of the positive tests, it doesn’t seem like the NFL has much of a plan as far as if or when a significant amount of players or staff members test positive. Conor Orr, an author for Sports Illustrated, believes the NFL should have paused their season after the first round of positive tests, stating “The logical thing to do right now would be to pause the NFL season for a full incubation period, starting immediately”.

Although many are unsure of whether or not the NFL season will continue or not, there is one thing that is certain: the NFL are going to try their best to ensure that the season goes on. Even if that means postponing games and enforcing strict rules to prevent the virus.