The coronavirus (COVID-19) is putting the NFL to the test. More and more positive tests are popping up, putting the 2020 season in jeopardy. Four days after quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for the virus, his New England Patriots teammate Stephon Gilmore did as well. Meanwhile in Tennessee, after 16 members of the organization tested positive last week, more have trickled in. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has some decisions to make, and his latest one isn’t sitting well with too many people.
COVID-19 wreaking havoc with the NFL
The NFL has already had to move the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans game to Week 7 after several members of the Titans organization tested positive for COVID-19. Positive results continue to trickle in for other Titans members, putting this week’s game with the Buffalo Bills in jeopardy.
The Titans had their facility closed as the positive cases were discovered. They were scheduled to reopen today, but two more positive cases Wednesday wouldn’t allow them to. Tennessee, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, is in quite a bit of a jam. The team already used its bye week in Week 4 because of their positive cases. Moving their game with the Bills to Monday won’t likely happen since the Bills are playing next Thursday.
Russini said Tennessee’s only options may include canceling or forfeiting the game. To make matters worse for the NFL, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore also tested positive, it was announced Wednesday. New England’s facility remains closed.
More positive cases are popping up
The New England Patriots suffered a blow late Friday when it was announced that quarterback Cam Newton had tested positive for COVID-19. The team was set to fly to Kansas City on Saturday for their Sunday game against the Chiefs. The flight was halted as players were retested.
After tests Saturday and Sunday showed no additional positive tests, the team flew out to Kansas City on Monday morning for a rescheduled game Monday night. The team took two separate planes. One plane contained those who had more contact with Newton, while all others boarded a separate plane.
Meanwhile in Tennessee, the Titans organization had its 20th positive case in the last nine days. Also, Ron Rivera, head coach of the Washington Football Team, has announced that one of his quarterbacks has COVID-19 antibodies.
Roger Goodell questioned for his latest COVID-19 decision
The NFL seems to want to play by its own set of rules. The mission of the league is clearly to finish the season and commissioner Roger Goodell seems to be catching a lot of heat for that. Goodell has been questioned for his decision to play Monday night’s game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. No Patriots player tested positive for the next two rounds of tests, but the virus has an incubation period anywhere from 2-14 days. Newton’s teammate Stephon Gilmore tested positive one day after the Patriots flew out to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. Gilmore was seen hugging Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the game.
Goodell has always preached “player safety” when it comes to play on the field. Why is he not doing the same when it comes to COVID-19? Michael Lombardi of The Athletic tweeted, “It was impossible to imagine anyone not testing positive in NE with their quarterback testing positive. And now we know it was not possible.” Although it’s unclear if that tweet was a direct dig at Goodell, many fans are ripping the commissioner for letting the game go on and putting other players at risk. It’s clear player safety isn’t as important as getting the game in. All eyes are now on the Kansas City Chiefs.