While the world of baseball was sent reeling on Monday with the news that the Miami Marlins were experiencing a legitimate outbreak od Covid-19 within their team, with more than a dozen players and coaches having tested positive, and which forced games to be postponed, all is not at a crisis point in American professional sports.
The NFL is currently in the process of getting its players back into their facilities, a process that includes every player taking and passing three consecutive Covid-19 tests before they are allowed in. 12 rookies had tested positive, with 24 being placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list in total. Even more players will be reported as testing positive or being moved to the reserve list with the veteran test results coming in.
But initial positive tests were inevitable, a reality that the league has discussed for months, and while the MLB is battling a serious issue with one of their teams, things are looking good for the NHL and the NHL, which is encouraging more generally.
On Monday, the NHL announced that the league had concluded its Phase 3 portion of returning to play, administering a total of 4256 Covid-19 tests during that time and yielding no positives. There were only two positive tests of the total 6874 tests administered.
As teams enter Phase 4, all 52 members of the 24 organizations participating in the season, which includes both players and coaches, will be tested on a daily basis. The league also vows to provide regular updates on the situation.
There are a couple of important distinctions to make here, a very important one being the fact that the NHL has not begun playing games yet. The MLB is already into its regular season, and played a number of preseason games as well, which is a separate set of circumstances.
Unlike the MLB, however, the NHL—and the NBA as well—is conducting its season in two centralized locations, with 12 teams in each ‘bubble’, which drastically helps to reduce the variables involved that helped lead to the outbreak for the Marlins, who are quarantined in Philadelphia after playing the Phillies.
While the NBA’s process has not been flawless, they are being proactive with their slipups. When one player was found to have violated the behavioral standards of the bubble, he was put in quarantine. Another ‘forgot’ to take a test. He was put in quarantine.
I just thought it was worth sharing that all is not so bleak in the sporting world as it pertains to the coronavirus right now. Every league’s circumstances are unique, by the very nature of the way the sport is played, but we shouldn’t just assume that the NFL won’t be able to play its season because one MLB team experienced an outbreak.