NFL Covid-19 Outbreak: The Facts, The action and what needs to be done to save the season.
The NFL was hit with more positive COVID-19 tests this week, prompting schedule changes after the Tennessee Titans had a group workout despite being instructed to shut down and isolate. The National Football League has yet to take a drastic step to isolate its players like the NBA but they are cracking down on teams who violate the rules.
With concerns of spreading the virus, the league hosted a conference call on Monday with outlined concerns that officials had in regards to safety. The league displayed coaches dismissing sideline mask protocols by not continuously wearing them, and players within the Titan’s practice facility with no masks on.
The concern for players came on the heels of Tennessee having a total of 23 positive Covid-19 tests within the last two weeks. The Titans are holding a majority of positive tests in the league and it’s believed to have happened after news broke of Tennessee having player-led workouts at outside facilities after their practice facility was closed.
The league told teams they needed to turn back to protocols from July and be on guard to lockdown and isolate themselves from casual interactions, and stick to the team for the time being.
The NFL has required daily testing for players since September. One issue the NFL is having is the players of the league are not completely isolated like the “NBA Bubble” in Orlando. If the NFL wants to bring their Covid-19 cases down to almost zero, it is important that they immediately demand isolation regionally, then entirely as a league or the entire football season is at risk of a shutdown.
Some suggestions for the NFL would be to isolate the league which is roughly 1,696 players plus staff and medical personnel that would need to be on hand. Some locations the NFL could scout would be the midwest. Several teams are already midwest based and the NFL could isolate the league in half at the beginning in states like, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
The three states are home to the Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers. The NFL should use lease locations with plenty of open space to allow teams to practice and a stadium to play. If the NFL were to use three locations, teams could play three times a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon and finally in the evening. With three games in each location occupying two teams a time, this allows 18 teams to play per day and allow the NFL to amp up Monday night football using six to eight teams and allow the remaining six to eight teams to take a bye week.
So far the NFL has only governed teams instead of taking a major action step to gain control of the outbreak situation. My recommendation, stand with separating the league into three sections in the midwest, and travel by private charter to and from the stadium if necessary.