The NFL now has two weeks of play, and two weeks of travel, in the books, and are about one tenth of the way through their playing calendar. By and large, the players have done extremely well with respect to remaining disciplined and safe regarding Covid-19, as the latest league-wide testing results have shown.
From the league communications website, from the period between September 13-19, the NFL administered 14,074 Covid-19 tests to the 2438 players who are a part of the 32 organizations around the league. None of them generated a positive test during that time period.
The rest of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 non-player personnel didn’t fare quite as well. Across 22,590 tests for 5407 personnel, they triggered five new positives. This would include many different types of people throughout club buildings, including coaches.
Now, five positives among more than 5000 personnel is still very low, make no mistake about that. It’s under .1 percent, which is certainly excellent. And it’s also true that there are less demands on non-player personnel, especially as it pertains to physical activity.
Still, the goal is for zero positives. Any number of these personnel members could be those who come in contact with players on a daily basis, and you only need one presymptomatic case to spread the thing across a locker room.
That’s not to harp on matters, though. The news regarding Covid-19 within the NFL is excellent, and very encouraging with regards to the prospects of the league’s ability to complete an entire season without there being an interruption, which speaks to the professionalism by and large of the vast majority of those involved.
After all, they’re the ones with the most skin in the game, and that’s not even talking about their own health. Several dozen players did choose to opt out of the season citing health concerns, but the protocols the league has in place appear to be effective, at least so far.
Still, it is early in the season, and there could be positives only registering now from infections initiated a week or two ago. I will feel much better about things if we are still seeing zeroes across the board for players by the time we get to the middle of the season. Then I will be very impressed.
And I’ll be even more impressed if people on the sidelines can manage to follow the basic protocols that were mutually agreed to and simply wear their masks when required.