NFL Fumbles with COVID-19 This Season

Jonathan Liu, Reporter

“I am concerned. My wife is pregnant. NFL Training camp is about to start. And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety. We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones,” NFL superstar Quarterback Russel Wilson tweeted over the summer as the possibility of an NFL season being played was in jeopardy.

As the summer came to an end, the NFL decided that they were going to play a season, but with obvious changes compared to previous seasons. There would be no preseason, combined practices, and no fans in the stands for most teams. 

As the 2020-2021 NFL season began with no crowds to minimal crowds at most, fans from home had no issue with the new changes to the sport due to COVID-19. 

“I still enjoy it. I’m a fan of the sport. I don’t need to see fans in the stadium to be satisfied,” senior Mateo Poncia said. After two hard weeks of competitive play, the NFL had their first positive COVID-19 test, and a problem regarding injuries. 

In week two of the season, many franchise players such as running backs such as Saquon Barkley who would be out for the season, and Christian McCafrey who would be out for around half the season went down with serious injuries. Members of the 49ers were injured as well, most notably 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Nick Bosa, who was diagnosed with a torn ACL. Fans immediately pointed to the lack of offseason practices and preseason games as a big factor of these injuries. 

“The lack of preseason games and months of practices definitely have been a factor in the numerous injuries. Football is a violent sport and you have to physically and mentally prepare to get beat up once a week. When guys aren’t out there hitting each other every day for three months, when they do get back on the field those hits are going to do a log more damage,” Poncia said. 

As week two alerted fans, week three didn’t get much better. The NFL recorded its first positive COVID-19 test, as a couple members of the Tennesee Titans franchise tested positive for COVID-19. As week three carried onto week four, 11 Titans players tested positive, leading to a postponement of their scheduled game between them and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As more positive cases were being reported, fans began to bring up the NBA and MLB’s success compared to the NFL. 

“Looking at the NFL compared to the NBA and the MLB on top of that, I think that they’re handling [COVID-19] rather poorly and sloppily. You look at the NBA they had a couple positive Coronavirus tests, and then after that, it steadied out,” senior Christian Hokama said.

On October 25, Jacksonville Jaguars Running Back, Ryquell Armstead, was reportedly hospitalized twice because of COVID-19 complications and was set to miss the remainder of the season. 

“I think that the NFL will find a way to make it to a championship but mainly because of the economic aspirations of the league,” freshman Will Jorczack said. 

As the year progresses, the NFL will have to adjust on the fly, and figure out a way to get to crowning a SuperBowl champion despite all difficulties of COVID-19.