The 2020 NFL season just got the green light a few days ago once the NFLPA and the league agreed to changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Of course, many of the changes dealt with COVID-19. From opt-out pay to testing protocols, a number of issues had to be addressed.
But as Roger Goodell, NFL players, coaches, and the rest of the league prepare for the upcoming season, they just got taught a terrifying lesson on COVID-19 thanks to the Miami Marlins.
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the NFL already
COVID-19 has completely shaken up all concepts of normalcy. From wearing face masks to enforcing social distancing, the pandemic has changed the way we live, breathe, and operate as a society. Even the NFL has been effected profoundly by COVID-19.
First, the league scrapped its plans to host the 2020 NFL draft in Las Vegas. Instead, viewers got the pleasure of watching Roger Goodell announce the picks from the comfy confines of his basement. Needless to say, that experience definitely put the effect of the pandemic in perspective.
As for spring organized team activities and mini-camps? Those never took place. Players have had to get creative in order to stay in shape. Kirk Cousins went home to train on his parents’ driveway. James Washington has worked on his fitness from his farm. Even Tom Brady has defied medical advice to continue training as he prepares to make his Buccaneers debut.
More recently, players have spoken up about concerns about the health implications of playing football this season. Russell Wilson has gone to great lengths to prepare for the possibility of playing with a face shield even after expressing concerns about the safety of his wife and family.
Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had a dramatic impact on the NFL even before the 2020 season begins. And if Roger Goodell plans on finishing the season, he better pay close attention to the situation with the Miami Marlins.
The Miami Marlins just taught the NFL a terrifying lesson
With the NBA inching closer to a return and NFL teams kicking off training camp, the sports world finally seems to be getting back to normal. At least that’s what we all thought. On Monday, the Miami Marlins taught the NFL, and the world at large, a terrifying lesson on COVID-19.
According to ESPN, at least 13 members of the Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19. Four players tested positive on Sunday, and seven more, plus two coaches, have also tested positive. As a result, MLB postponed Miami’s home opener against Baltimore. In addition, the Philadelphia Phillies, who just completed a series against the Marlins, will not play their scheduled home opener against the New York Yankees.
The fact that so many players and coaches tested positive should open the NFL’s eyes to the harsh reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a sport with far less contact, the Marlins just taught everyone that an entire team can get derailed once COVID-19 enters into the equation. How exactly can Miami field a competitive team with so many players who tested positive?
The entire situation could spiral further if more players eventually test positive. At that point, the Marlins could face an unprecedented situation in which they might get decimated to the point that they don’t have enough healthy players. And while minor league affiliates offer potential replacements, the NFL doesn’t have that same luxury.
A Marlins situation could doom the 2020 NFL season
As the sports world continues to monitor the Miami Marlins and their COVID-19 dilemma, it should give Roger Goodell and the NFL reason to worry. As much as the NFL wants to believe it can power through the pandemic, it seems next to impossible that COVID-19 won’t make its way into an NFL locker room.
Players literally make physical contact for a living. Whether it’s in the weight room, on the practice field, in the training room, or on the field, NFL players spend so much time in close proximity that you would be foolish to think that even the most stringent safety protocols will succeed in fully stopping the spread of COVID-19.
If a Marlins-type situation breaks out, the NFL could be in serious trouble. If a team suffers a major outbreak that compromises 10 or 15 players, that makes for a heck of a lot of work for a coach and general manager to make changes to the roster. Plus, what about if a coach himself contracts COVID-19? How about a trainer? Or what about an equipment room manager?
All of these scenarios could feasibly happen. And if that’s the case, the NFL would be in serious trouble, especially if multiple teams start to have issues with positive COVID-19 tests. Ultimately, the Miami Marlins taught Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL a terrifying lesson that the 2020 NFL season could get jeopardized if the league’s safety protocols fail to keep the coronavirus at bay.