You may or may not have noticed this, but the coronavirus is very much still around. In fact, it’s starting to show up in large numbers around college campus, with an increasing amount of college programs reporting positive cases for Covid-19, and taking a varying level of precautions to prevent it from spreading even further.
Kansas State, for example, has had 14 players test positive for the coronavirus, and in response, they have shut down their workouts for the time being, for at least two weeks, in the hopes of containing the virus from spreading further.
“The health and well-being of our student-athletes will always be our top priority”, a school official said. “Following the most recent test results, we felt like temporarily pausing all football workouts and access to our facilities was the best decision for everyone. We continue to take this situation very seriously and want to do everything we can to get back to workouts soon”.
Kansas State was one of a large number of schools that began voluntary workouts earlier this month, and one of a large number of schools that have had multiple positive cases. Theirs has to date been one of the more drastic, both in number and in response.
It’s gotten serious enough that the NFLPA has advised its players to stop working out with one another. At least 10 NFL teams have had players test positive, and it’s quite likely that there are more on other teams that we don’t know about. Some teams, like the Cowboys, the Texans, and the Broncos, are known to have had multiple players test positive.
LSU, the most successful team in college football last year, is not immune to the virus. While they haven’t paused activities, they have placed “at least 30” players in quarantine, and according to Sports Illustrated, that number could rise based on further test results and contact tracing being done. Some of the quarantine cases are believed to be tied to a night club at which a breakout occurred.
Clemson, another of the most successful teams in college football, had 23 players test positive for the coronavirus recently. The university had 28 total positive cases among athletes across all sports. Needless to say, these players and those they have been in contact with are in quarantine.
These are just some of the more prominent examples we are seeing around college campuses, and frankly, it’s something that we should be concerned about as the NFL begins to ramp up its plans for teams to host training camp in five or six weeks.
Surely, the league will have much more thorough and stringent protocols for protecting its players than college campuses do—and there are far more college campuses—but the reality is that we already know of a fairly large handful of positive tests in the NFL without any football work having been done.