Note: Since the original publication of this post, Ian Rapoport reported Ezekiel Elliott was one of the players to test positive for COVID-19. Rapoport added his agent confirmed Zeke was feeling good.
The road for football’s return in September will be a long and rocky one. As all sports leagues are doing their best for a return to normalcy, obstacles have kept showing up. On Monday morning, NFL Network reporters Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported that several Dallas Cowboys players and several Houston Texans players have tested positive for COVID.-19.
The players’ names have yet to be reported.
Unfortunately, the report is far from shocking.
Some college football teams have returned to voluntary workouts and have tested multiple players positive for COVID-19. Just last week, the University of Houston suspended all workouts after six student-athletes tested positive. Other colleges like Alabama and Oklahoma State have gone through similar situations.
With the NFL aiming for players to return to team facilities, it’s difficult not to expect most teams to have their share of health issues when all players are tested.
With health protocols in place, teams have an enormous challenge ahead of them. Last week, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh complained about the rules that were being set in order to promote social distancing in the locker room and practice field.
It’s a difficult situation, and it’ll require coaches, players, and executives to be constantly adapting to several protocols.
It’s hard not to wonder what will happen when news like this begin to emerge around the entire league, especially if a star player tests positive. It also raises many other questions, including how likely the season is to begin without any modifications to its schedule?
In the meantime, coaches have already returned to team facilities. Rumors about shortening the preseason were also reported last week in NFL Network as well as the pending negotiations the NFL and NFLPA are set to have prior to the 2020 season.