Despite President COVID-45's insistence that the coronavirus is “disappearing,” this pandemic is still very much alive—as evidenced by the fact that 21 states have just set record weekly averages for new cases this week.
That being said, participating in a full-contact sport is probably one of the last things anyone should be doing right now. But since the NFL’s got money to make and contractual obligations to fulfill, it’s tried its best to move forward with its season while the coronavirus continues to unleash all types of hell on its schedule.
Thus far, we’ve seen the Jets, Titans, Vikings, Patriots and other teams shut down their facilities after discovering positive coronavirus tests within their organizations—the Titans had over 20 players and staff test positive at one point—and on Friday morning, the Colts became the latest team to incur the wrath of this pandemic.
“This morning, we were informed that several individuals within our organization have tested positive for COVID-19,” the team said in a statement. “The team is currently in the process of confirming those tests. In the meantime, the practice facility will be closed and the team will work remotely while following NFL protocols.”
With Indy scheduled to host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the timing of this brush with the coronavirus isn’t exactly ideal. Especially since this news came on the same day that the Atlanta Falcons were cleared to re-open their practice facilities after an assistant coach tested positive on Thursday, according to the NFL Network.
Thankfully, the Colts received some good news hours later and released a subsequent statement with an update.
“Earlier this morning, we were informed that four individuals within the organization tested positive for COVID-19,” the team said. “The four positive samples were re-tested and have been confirmed negative. After consultation with the NFL and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Allen Sills, the team will open the practice facility this afternoon under the league’s intensive protocol and will continue preparation for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati.”
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there won’t be any other issues and that their practice facilities will be able to safely reopen.
Something else to keep an eye on is the status of Odell Beckham Jr., who was sent home on Thursday after it was determined that he was battling an unknown illness. Per ESPN, he’s tested negative for the coronavirus, but as a precautionary measure he’s been kept away from the team and not allowed to participate in practice.
The league can’t afford for any more games to be postponed, so hopefully, this is the last we hear about the coronavirus plaguing the NFL for a little while.