The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues its way around the football world. While the New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and now the Atlanta Falcons have been forced to close their facilities because of the virus, it’s now hit the college ranks. University of Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested positive. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a good friend of Saban, gave some insight as to how Saban has handled the virus.
COVID-19 causing chaos
The positive is that the NFL has gotten through five weeks without having to cancel any games. The problem is the league doesn’t have a whole lot of room to play with unless the season gets extended. Several games have been postponed or rescheduled as COVID-19 makes its way through the NFL.
The Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots have been hit the hardest by the virus. Both organizations have had their facilities shut down and have had to alter their schedules because of it. Now, the Atlanta Falcons have been hit. NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported there were multiple tests within the organization. The Falcons have shut down their facility.
The Titans were forced to play on a rare Tuesday night after several positive tests kept popping up last week. Between team players and team personnel, the Titans had 24 people test positive since Sept. 24. Despite the craziness and the rescheduled games, the Titans are 4-0.
Alabama coach Nick Saban diagnosed with COVID-19
On Wednesday, both Alabama head coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne tested positive for COVID-19. The team, ranked second in the nation, is scheduled to take on third-ranked Georgia on Saturday. Saban said he is feeling fine and immediately put himself in isolation.
“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said in a statement, according to ESPN. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”
Saban said he was surprised at the test result. He said he felt fine right before the test was taken. “I feel fine, so I’m not really concerned that much about my health, but you never know,” Saban said. “Look, I basically feel like when we’re in our own personal bubble here, everybody is in a much safer place. I think as soon as you travel, you get exposed to a lot more things and a lot more people.”
Bill Belichick said Saban has been ‘vigilant’ during COVID-19
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has certainly had his share of COVID-19 issues this season. Both of his star players, quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, tested positive. His team has had to reschedule games, including flying out day of game to Kansas City for a rescheduled game with the Chiefs.
On Thursday, Belichick offered support for his friend, Alabama coach Nick Saban, after his positive test Wednesday. Belichick said he spoke with Saban and said the Crimson Tide coach has been ‘vigilant’ in handling the virus. “I know everyone’s aware of our connections with Coach Saban and Alabama, so just want to wish him a speedy and complete recovery from this COVID virus,” Belichick said during an early morning press conference Thursday.
“You know, I spoke with Coach Saban recently. We both talked about how much we’ve learned about the situation and some of the challenges that have come with it. And I know he’s been extremely vigilant and has put a great deal of thought and effort into the care of his team and players. He shared that with me and we’ve both talked about things that we’ve done, and have been helpful and so forth.”