“NFL–Welcome to Real Life”
The NFL has gotten thru 12-weeks of its regular season. In doubt now is whether they can finish the season and get to the most important part of the year, the playoffs and the Super Bowl.
A league that has spent over 75M-to do daily Covid-virus testing, now looks as if it might have to take a pause in its schedule.
Baseball shut down spring training then got thru a 60-game season and the playoffs and World Series before the outbreak occurred a second time.
The NBA shuttered in midseason, and restarted in the bubble in Orlando and got to crown a champion.
The NHL, with the toughest challenge of all, crossing the border, and players coming from Canada-USA-Europe…shutdown, and reopened in Hub Cities without a positive test and got thru the Stanley Cup playoffs.
College football was delayed…started…then has had to cancel games every Saturday as their situation worsens.
College basketball just started in delay status but is already encountering problems, one week into the season.
The Covid outbreak that has struck down the Baltimore Ravens is the worst of any team in pro sports. Worse that the Miami Marlins or St-Louis Cardinals in baseball for sure.
The NFL soldiered on, holding its draft, its free agency, its start of the regular season. But now, as the country has been brought to its knees, so has Park Avenue, New York, despite its valiant efforts.
The Baltimore Ravens haven’t practiced in 9-days. Their players were ordered out of their bubble on Monday as they tried to get in a walkthru before the supposed plans to fly to Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning, and play on Tuesday night. Now the league has pushed the game back a 3rd time-to Wednesday afternoon so long as there are no more positive tests.
The NFL has 23-players on the Ravens IR-Covid list, including star QB-Lamar Jackson and 10-other starters.
Denver lost all 4-QBs and had 4-hours to get a taxi squad WR-ready to play QB in losing horribly to the Saints. Denver had 1-pass completion in the game and 13-yards passing, taking us back to the 1944-era to see those type of stats.
The Bengals were without 5-assistant coaches.
Jacksonville, in the midst of a 10-game losing streak, lost all its defensive coaches to quarantine.
The Broncos have had 4-different coaches test positive.
The Raiders have had two player outbreaks, but contact testing has saved them more troubles. They had 7-defensive starters out for nearly a week of practice before reinstatement.
Tennessee had an outbreak with a coach getting ill as the team was arriving for a road game, leading to others testing positive in short order.
The Steelers are without two assistant coaches this week-and have lost their top running back, who is a cancer survivor, but is now positive.
Arizona’s future Hall of Fame receiver is positive.
Teams and players are starting to fray, showing the emotional wear and tear of the Covid crisis, in the lockerroom and at home.
The Broncos quarterbacks and the club will likely get socked with fines..for the violations.
Baltimore’s outbreak dates back to a strength coach, who did not tell doctors he was feeling ill, and infected players in the weight room for more than 24-hours before his test was positive.
New Orleans just got hit with a 500,000 fine for another series of violations. The Patriots were docked with 350,000 in fines, their second set of discipline action from the league.
The Raiders have been penalized 4-times in the first 8-weeks of the season.
There are solutions, even if nationwide, we cannot put a lid on the virus, positive tests, hospitalizations, ICU issues or deaths.
The NFL could invoke a “Hotel Bubble Plan” now…with five weeks left in the regular season. Put players, coaches and staffs in lockdown mode for the next five weeks to stop the spread. Yes the players would be away from their families, but the NBA-NHL did it for 8-to-10 weeks and it worked.
The NFL can hit the pause button on the season if they want. Cancel the next week of football…and add the missed week of games as a Week 18 to the regular season.
It triggers the expansion of the playoffs to 16-teams, but that means bonus money from the TV contracts they have, and more money for the players too.
The NFL does not want to get into ‘forfeiting games’….is tired of handing out massive fines to owners too and is struggling the police the policies they are demandingl.
Stopping play for one week isn’t the end of the world. Baseball survived missing nearly two thirds of its season. Hell, the NHL stopped play for one entire winter in a dispute with its union.
The NFL’s TV ratings are spectacular. This is always about money, and money will be there at the end of the Super Bowl. This should be about health and safety, keeping the players well, and making sure games of credibility are being played.
Chargers fans won’t miss Anthony Lynn’s (3-8) team. The Jets will be winless whether they play or sit. Denver does not want to do the taxi squad QB thing again.
The NFL is now dealing with things they can no longer control. The outbreak is in virtually every lockeroom in the league. A 1-week pause, hell a two week pause if need be, would be the solution to the situation.
Yes the Covid-Virus-Crisis looks like it is about to sack Roger Goodell and the owners….unless the owners do the right thing.
Pause this thing..the season…and the virus.