The 2020 season has been unique in taking place during a viral pandemic—at least, we hope that it remains unique, and that by the time the 2021 season rolls around, things will be far closer to normal, if not entirely normal. But we’re not there yet, which means that we have to deal with the trials and tribulations that come with the territory.
We learned that more than ever several weeks ago when the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens had to play a game that was postponed three times and a total of six days, with dozens of players, from both sides combined, going on the Reserve/Covid-19 List.
One of those players was Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who tested positive the day of the game and was unable to play. “I was actually aggravated, because I didn’t have one symptom at all. I guess I was asymptomatic”, he told reporters on Thursday.
“At this point, I tell everybody, there’s no point in complaining about this stuff anymore. It is what it is. We’re just all lucky enough to be blessed to be able to go out there and play and be able to provide for our families. So if anyone wants to complain about it, you should’ve opted out”.
He went on to describe himself as an ultimate competitor and that he wants to be out there for every snap of every game, but he understands that “the rules are the rules, the protocols are the protocols. I’m done even thinking about that part”.
Pouncey admitted that the protocols and their evolving nature have affected him a bit, particularly the shift to intensive protocols, where all meetings that can be done virtually will be done so. “I like to get in the building, being able to sit in front of the guys, being able to interact in that type of way. But I get the protocols. It is what it is at this point. There ain’t no complaining about it”.
Something that many have talked about over the course of the season is that it very well may be the case that whether or not a team is successful can be tied to whether or not they remain disciplined with regards to the protocols. Pouncey mentioned that as well.
“Whoever stays the most locked in, the most accountable at that time, they’re gonna win”, he suggested. And with coronavirus cases at an all-time high throughout the country, we have seen a corresponding rise in cases among players and coaches and staff as well.
If your quarterback is a close contact of somebody who tests positive three days before a playoff game, it won’t make a difference. He’s not going to play. That’s why the league has advised that players have any personal assistant, from chefs to barbers and everyone in between, get regularly tested as well.