CINCINNATI — The NFL is dealing with its’ first coronavirus outbreak. The league already moved Sunday’s Steelers-Titans game to Oct. 25 after 16 members of Tennessee’s organization—eight players and eight personnel staff tested positive for COVID-19.
The issues continued on Saturday morning when Patriots’ star Cam Newton tested positive. The team was scheduled to fly to Kansas City on Saturday afternoon.
Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu also tested positive for COVID-19. The league decided to postpone the game until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.
They’re testing every player multiple times. One more positive test could cause them to move the game completely.
How is the NFL going to respond to this recent outbreak? Well, they’re willing to put players in hotels for the remainder of the season according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“The NFL gladly would do that,” Florio wrote. “The question is whether the NFL Players Association would agree to it. “The NFLPA balked during July negotiations at a Thursday-to-Sunday team-by-team bubble. The union likely would balk at a continuous bubble for the balance of the season.”
The NFL has managed to deal with COVID-19 over the past few months. They limited the number of positive tests during training camp and for the first few weeks of the season.
An outbreak was always going to happen. It was inevitable. How they respond to it is key. The Players Association may have to re-think their stance on hotel living if the outbreak continues.
The good news is every Vikings player tested negative for COVID-19, after playing the Titans on Sunday. They were tested daily.
If Newton and Ta’amu are the only two positive tests, then the Chiefs and Patriots can move forward. If it spreads, then the NFL and the NFLPA could add even more safety protocols — even a potential hotel bubble — to move forward with the 2020 season.
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