As COVID cases explode around the country, the NFL took a big hit this week, with more than 100 players testing positive for the virus. The NFL responded by moving three games. And in negotiations between the NFL and its players’ association, the parties came up with a new set of rules on testing for the remainder of the season.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw and his NFL on Fox counterparts unsurprisingly had their opinions on the NFL’s shift in policy. The former Steelers great quarterback addressed the NFL’s latest move and fired a shot at NASCAR in the process.
COVID outbreak in NFL affects more than 100 players and postpones three games
With the number of COVID cases rapidly increasing across the nation, the NFL has been dramatically affected by the latest surge.
The outbreak in Cleveland landed 24 members on the COVID list, including quarterback Baker Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski. The league shifted the Browns’ game against the Raiders to Monday night.
Washington was also hit hard by the virus with more than 20 players testing positive, including its top two quarterbacks. Officials delayed their contest on the road against the Eagles until Tuesday night.
The LA Rams topped the league with 25 members testing positive. As a result, the NFL pushed back the home contest against the division rival Seattle Seahawks until Tuesday.
Terry Bradshaw fires shot at NASCAR
With the outbreak potentially affecting the season, the NFL sat down and negotiated with the Players Association about future protocols. According to Jay Glazer, the NFLPA had input from several big quarterback names who insisted they avoid cancellations or forfeitures and make it through the season.
As a result, the parties agreed to a new set of testing rules, which includes only testing unvaccinated players, players with symptoms, and anybody in close contact.
Curt Menefee bluntly stated the reality of the new standards.
“So, the bottom line is, the less tests, the less positives we find,” Menefee suggested. “But in fairness to the league, things have changed obviously all around the country from where they were back in August when these rules were implemented.”
“It’s almost like we’re dealing with NASCAR here,” Terry Bradshaw said laughing. “Because NASCAR is big at changing rules right in the middle of the season. Obviously, there’s no work stoppage. We thought originally the way the rules were set up a team could be shut out and no one would be paid if they had a bunch of them. Now that’s not the case. I’m glad to see they pushed them. I’m glad we’re having the football games.”
Terry Bradshaw linked to NASCAR and tragic death of Dale Earnhardt
Terry Bradshaw isn’t necessarily the first person most NASCAR fans would associate with knowledge about NASCAR. But he’s right. The stock car racing governing body has been known to make rules adjustments in the middle of the year.
Most people also don’t realize that Bradshaw had a relationship, albeit a brief one, with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. In 2001, before the Daytona 500, Fox sent the Pro Football Hall of Famer to Florida for a segment with the seven-time Cup Series champion.
It included Earnhardt taking the soon-to-be grand marshal of the race for a few laps around the 2.5-mile circuit. Bradshaw told Yahoo! Sports writer Jay Busbee, who wrote a book on Earnhardt, about the ride of his life.
“We were flying! He’s there describing turn 1, and I’m going, ‘Oh my God …’ Then we’re coming around turn 3, and he says, ‘There’s going to be a big bump,’ and then we’re right up against the wall, and then we come flying down pit lane and burning out in the grass. He’s celebrating like we won the Daytona 500, and I’m wetting my britches!”
Tragically, the new friendship between the two stars of their respective sports, didn’t last. Earnhardt died the next day on the race’s final lap. But their encounter obviously made an impression enough for the former quarterback to pay attention to NASCAR and know that rule changes occurring in the middle of the season aren’t a big deal.