While many professional sports leagues have had success playing seasons, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, many National Football League teams are not taking the proper restrictions, resulting in postponed and rescheduled games.
The Tennessee Titans have the most positive tests with 22 team members. As of Sunday, four New England Patriots players have also tested positive including star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, and quarterback Cam Newton. The team’s game against the Denver Broncos is rescheduled, and the Patriots hope to have Newton well enough to play by Week 6.
Because of the Patriots cases, the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Jets have also all had games rescheduled. While grateful for the much needed precautions, teams have had to quickly adjust to unexpected schedule changes. One of the most important weeks of the season, the bye week, has also been rescheduled to less favorable times in the season for multiple teams.
Tennessee Titans record over 22 positive cases, prompting much rescheduling. Image credits: News 5 Nashville.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, for example, originally had a bye week scheduled for week 7, about halfway through the season. This is the optimal time for a bye week so players can recover from their previous weeks of play. However, due to the Titans’ outbreaks, their bye week was rescheduled for week four.
Multiple sources close to the NFL claim the league has a plan to extend the season an extra week if necessary, but it is unclear what this week will mean for the playoffs and the Super Bowl in February 2021.
Despite the season’s changes, the Kansas City Chiefs remain a favorite with their star quarterback Pat Mahomes. The Bills lead the AFC East with two games over the Patriots. Even with their number of cases, the Titans lead AFC South and will predictably keep their standing if they begin to control the team’s outbreaks. Though controlling the number of increasing cases in the American Football Conference (AFC) has been difficult, the National Football Conference (NFC) seems to have a smoother season with less postponed games and Covid-19 cases.
Casey Roberts’23 Staff Writer