This football season is beginning to look extremely complicated. Players from all over the league are beginning to test positive, and there have already been several schedule changes to accommodate the coronavirus.
There are currently fourteen players that sit on the COVID-19 IR list heading into week 5. A majority of them are from the Tennessee Titans. Roger Goodell and the league are in trouble. Protocols from every franchise are beginning to change as the NFL has upped the amount of testing and guidelines.
It has been a tumultuous time for the NFL, to say the least. Patriots star cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive on Wednesday morning. This comes two days after the Patriots lost to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
In the final moments of that game, it appeared both Gilmore and Patrick Mahomes embraced in the center of the field.
Might be scary being a Chiefs fan for the next 3-5 days
That's Stephon Gilmore with Mahomes. pic.twitter.com/wY2GECSHgX
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 7, 2020
This is a complicated situation. Odds are Mahomes may not even have the virus, and the Vikings confirming no positive test results means that there have been no transfers between teams. This is still a tough look for a league that continues to have outbreaks.
Another non-promising development came from the Las Vegas Raiders. Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst tested positive this morning. This wasn’t the only news to come from the team either. Tight end Darren Waller hosted a fundraiser that resulted in a fine of $30,000. The main issue with this event was that the teammates attending did not wear masks or practice social distancing. Maurice Hurst was not in attendance, however.
Regardless of the opinions on masks or specific guidelines, it is imperative for players to follow their league’s protocol. Obviously, it’s impossible for the league to manage the actions of each individual player, but with the growing case numbers, this story is a PR disaster for Goodell and the NFL.
The likelihood of chaos seems to be inching closer day by day. What happens if the world’s greatest quarterback tests positive? We saw Cam Newton, another prolific player, test positive. If enough big names are sidelined by COVID-19, maybe the NFL looks to make a flurry of changes.
One of those changes could include a bubble, or perhaps a shortening of the season. If there is one certainty in all of this it’s that the NFL is a couple of big headlines away from the 2020 season imploding into itself.