The NFL has postponed other matches this season, including a Broncos game in New England in October, due to coronavirus cases. The Baltimore Ravens had a recent game in Pittsburgh, scheduled for Thanksgiving Night, delayed by the league. That game has now been postponed three times and is currently scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, with more results for the next Test. For those observers, the NFL’s approach to the Broncos situation was an inequality and an injustice.
“I feel like going into the game, we [weren’t] Given a chance, “said Broncos safety Karim Jackson.” Sunday’s match went as expected and the Saints lost 31-3.
But here are those who fail to understand the NFL’s bid to play the full 2020 season amid an epidemic announcing a double standard: the fair has nothing to do with it.
The NFL has told teams that this season is not about competitive parity; It’s about trying to find ways to play the season as safely and thoroughly as possible. League leaders have also said that the games are postponed only for medical reasons, not because of competition issues.
In a memo sent to the teams on October 13, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, “Medical considerations and government directives will be best in determining when to postpone the game. “In view of the extra roster flexibility this season, the absence of medical considerations, the postponement of the games only to avoid roster issues due to injury or illness affecting several players in the group cannot be postponed or rescheduled. ”
The difference between medical concerns and competing issues has never been more pronounced, although this has been the case with the high-profile cases of the Broncos and Ravens in recent days.
In the case of the Ravens, the NFL and its medical experts were dealing with another major outbreak in a team this season that the Tennessee Titans experienced in late September and early October. Positive tests for Ravens players and team staff kept coming in on a daily basis. At one point Ravens had 23 players on their Covid-19 reserve list for players who test positive for coronavirus and exposure to viruses determined by contact tracing.
“Health and safety has been a top priority at every point,” NFL Chief Medical Officer Alan Sills said in a phone interview in October. “I think it’s an important point to underscore, that no one was given priority over any list or competition. It was all about the safest outcome. … All you want to do is make sure you don’t have a wide range of broadcasts and you’re trying to make sure you have the ability to create a safe environment for everyone regardless. “
The NFL relies on daily testing of its players, coaches and some team staff and its strict protocol as it operates in a non-bubble setup with teams based in their home cities. The league knows that, with players and staff going home every night and possibly coming out of the team’s facilities with a virus crisis, it will have to deal with positive issues. The way to do this is to identify infected people as soon as possible and isolate them in a team to prevent transmission. The NFL tweaked its protocols in October to set aside five days for people known as high-risk close contacts.
NFL conducts intelligent contact tracing using electronic tracking devices. It helps determine the genomic sequence when there are multiple cases on a team, whether there is a virus transmission in the team or if the cases are unrelated and arise out of convenience. Only when the league’s medical experts are unable to control it and an outbreak continues unabated is the program interrupted.
“I would say in cases where we have postponed the games, this is where the broadcast is supposed to be considered for which we don’t have much understanding,” Siles said earlier this season. He had said at the beginning of
The same was true of the Ravens. It was not the Broncos. In the case of the Broncos, quarterback Jeff Driscall tested positive last week. The NFL confirmed Saturday that fellow quarterbacks Drew Locke, Brett Rippe and Blake Bortels were high-risk close contacts, and were kept separate.
“You take the risk when you put all quarterbacks in the same room,” Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones told a Dallas station 105.3 fan in a radio interview Tuesday. “If you’re worried about these things, you can spread them out a little bit. … We have the NFL. These teams have been taught that you really paid better attention to your protocol. You will manage better. Don’t just serve it with your lips, roll your eyes and say, ‘It happens to them. It doesn’t happen to me. ”
The protocol developed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association includes strict mask wearing requirements. When the NFL recently tightened its protocol, teams were told that all meetings should be held remotely and that any individual meetings should be excluded. Indoor meetings are allowed in some cases but not recommended.
Locke acknowledged in a written statement Sunday that Quarterbacks did not fully comply with the mask’s requirements. Broncos coach Vic Fangio said after Sunday’s game that he was “disappointed” that the quarterbacks “put us in that position”. Wide receiver Kendall Hinton topped the practice team because of his experience as a college quarterback at Wake Forest, with one run against the Saints, two interceptions and a pass rating of 0.0.
“At the beginning of the year, our game went backwards,” Jackson said in a post-game video news conference on Sunday. “Obviously these can be different situations. But I just feel like, I mean, we [weren’t] As far as pushing back or delaying our game or something like that was given the same opportunity. ”
While some disagree with the approach, the NFL is not going to change course.
“We have known for some time that the 2020 season will be different from any other,” Goodell wrote in his October memo. “We will continue to be challenged by uncertainty and will need to address a number of factors that require us to be flexible, adapt to changing conditions, and understand the level of competitive equity we strive for each year. Yes. Don’t be achievable all season. ”