The NFL has been bombarded with numerous positive COVID-19 tests over the last few weeks, which has put a few Week 5 matchups in danger.
But the coronavirus isn’t the only thing that’s about to affect the weekend schedule in the NFL. Hurricane Delta made landfall in Mexico on Wednesday, and it’s expected to hit the southern coast of the U.S. this weekend. That’s bad news for the New Orleans Saints, who are scheduled to play at home on Monday night.
Multiple NFL teams have recently been hit by COVID-19
Through three weeks, the NFL was cruising along swimmingly with just one positive coronavirus test and no canceled or postponed games. But all that changed before Week 4.
Last week, the Tennessee Titans had a mini breakout in their locker room when multiple players and personnel members tested positive. The string of cases forced the NFL to postpone the Titans’ Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Days later, Cam Newton tested positive in what’s been the most high-profile case thus far. The Patriots game against the Chiefs was moved from Sunday to Monday, but it was still played without New England’s starting QB.
This week has brought even more positive tests across the league. The Patriots took another crushing blow with Stephon Gilmore testing positive on Tuesday, and the Raiders joined the fold with DT Maurice Hurst going on the Reserve-COVID list the same day.
As of Wednesday, five NFL teams have reported at least one positive coronavirus test since the season began. With the Titans and Patriots both losing multiple players within the last week, both their upcoming games could be postponed at any moment.
Hurricane Delta could affect the MNF game between the Saints and Chargers
Both the Saints and Chargers have been successful in keeping COVID-19 away from their respective locker rooms, but their Monday Night Football game might still see a schedule change because of a completely different issue.
Hurricane Delta, which touched down in Mexico on Wednesday, is expected to reach the U.S. from the Gulf of Mexico at some point this weekend. New Orleans knows how serious a hurricane can be dating back to Katrina in 2005, so the team won’t be taking any chances this year.
Delta was a Category 2 hurricane with winds as high as 110 mph as of Wednesday, but it’s expected to get stronger after picking up speed in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Saints/Chargers MNF matchup could be played in Indianapolis
With the safety threat Hurricane Delta poses in the New Orleans area, the NFL is mulling a change of venue for its upcoming Monday Night Football matchup.
The leader in the clubhouse seems to be Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Colts are on the road in Cleveland to play the Browns on Sunday, so their home stadium is open for business this weekend.
Normally, the Saints wouldn’t be happy to lose their home-field advantage in New Orleans, but that hardly matters this season with no fans in attendance.
From a worldwide pandemic to life-threatening storms, professional football is under siege ahead of Week 5. The NBA and NHL powered through the tough times to finish their seasons, but can the NFL?