COVID in the NFL

By Nilesh Kumar, Staff Writer

The NFL season started on August 20th, a highly anticipated event, given our circumstances. The season was off to a great start: the league took extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the chances of canceling altogether. However, as the season progressed, teams in the league were exposed to the virus, causing issues for the NFL.


During a routine COVID check on September 26, Tennessee Titans linebacker coach Shane Bowen tested positive for COVID-19. Within the following week, 14 more Titans tested positive for COVID. 


Vrabel, head coach of the Titans, said the Titans were “very confident that we’ve followed the guidelines with the protocol that the league and the players’ association have set forth.” However, despite claiming to have followed protocol, the cases kept spreading throughout the Titans’ facility. As a result, they were forced to close down and postpone their game against the Steelers.


During this time, the NFL discovered more cases among participants. Players in the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers tested positive, and many games are now postponed. This trend only continued, as several more teams had players that tested positive.


People started questioning the protocol’s effectiveness, given that all teams exposed to the virus claimed to have been following regulations. Football enthusiast and Quartz Hill High School sophomore Dorsey Davis states, “I honestly think the spread of COVID in the NFL comes down to the players and individuals. I’m sure the team, as they are practicing, is following the guidelines, but I think the players themselves aren’t socially distancing themselves in their free time.”


However, there has been controversy amongst the COVID tests themselves. Four Indiana Colts players, on the morning of Friday, October 16th, tested positive for COVID. However, upon further testing, they later found out that the tests were false, and the players did not have COVID. This raises questions about the legitimacy of testing in the NFL and for the public. Since the NFL, an American icon, faced controversies with fake testing, the public may think that their testing is wrong, causing more issues in the long run.


In all, the postponement of football games has taken a toll on Americans, given that it is a staple in our culture. Davis states, “It’s rather disappointing to see so many COVID cases amongst the players and faculty. As a football fan, I just want to watch some football, especially during these difficult times, where people like myself turn to football to release stress. With so many games being postponed, it’s been pretty difficult.”