Some good news worth reading as the NFL is ready to embark on the 2020 season, one of the weirdest and wildest in history. The league’s COVID numbers continue to dwindle thanks to rigorous testing, contact tracing, and teams/players following safety protocol.
According to numbers released by the league, only ten players and team personnel tested positive for the virus from August 21st-29th.
“According to the data, four of the positive tests came from players and the other six came from non-player personnel. The numbers, which do not include results later deemed to be false-positives, were more good news for the league’s testing protocols despite a slight uptick from the previous testing period.”
A few days ago, only one player remained on the Reserve/COVID list. That number has increased to four over the last 48 hours but compared to baseball and the general population, the league’s seeing incredibly low cases. The Steelers had four players on the COVID list during the early portions of camp but all four were activated within two weeks. The three still remaining on the team (CB Arrion Springs was released) – James Washington, Justin Layne, and Jaylen Samuels – have all fully returned to practice seemingly without any side effects.
The NFL also avoided a potential scare after a lab in New Jersey issued a flurry of false positives. Pittsburgh alone had six of them, causing some players to miss practice, but they quickly returned.
Despite the general good news, there’s still caveats to the COVID climate. The MLB was in a similarly good spot before their season began. Once teams began to travel, however, numbers spiked and outbreaks formed in multiple clubhouses. College football have seen pockets of large numbers, reportedly nearly wiping out entire position groups, but those are also college kids who generally aren’t as careful as the pros not to mention the NCAA own pitfalls in trying to create a safe climate. There’s also the concern about COVID numbers naturally spiking in the winter, right in the heart of football season.
The true test for the league won’t come until two weeks from now when the season begins. There’s still likely to be an increased number of cases, teams scrambling to adjust rosters, and there’s the threat of more false positives that will force teams to be cautious until results are accurately determined.
For the moment though, the NFL’s in as good of a position as they could’ve hoped to be. Fingers crossed that remains the same the rest of 2020.