Cam Newton has quickly turned into must watch television 3 weeks into the NFL season. It’s always been clear that football revolves around the New England Patriots, and this season there were rumblings that Cam Newton was turning the Patriots into…GASP…a likable team.
So when news broke that the most high profile player yet has tested positive for COVID, the NFL came face to face with its worst reality. Since last week we’ve been dealing with multiple players on the Titans testing positive, even more testing positive today, and doing a circus act to adjust the scheduling of this weeks Titans Steelers game.
However no names were really released of the Titans players testing positive, none of the Vikings players tested positive after playing them last week, and the NFL figured out a way to manipulate bye weeks to reschedule that game.
But we are really in a pickle with Cam Newton being the latest player to test positive for the coronavirus. First and foremost we all genuinely hope Cam is OK and does not experience any major symptoms and returns to full health. Cam was tested on Friday, presumably spent the entire day at the facility, in meetings, and interacting with other Patriots players and staff. Bill Belichick literally has not stopped talking about how much Cam is at the facility.
So the NFL rapid tests all the players, finds no additional positive tests and lets the Patriots fly to Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Tuesday? There are so many unknowns about how this testing works that the NFL would be taking an extreme risk letting this happen. Not that Roger Goodell cares in the slightest, but putting the NFL’s 4th best player Patty Mahomes at potential risk for contracting COVID has got to be on his radar.
It’s also been confirmed that Chiefs practice squad QB Jordan Ta’amu has tested positive.
Moving the game to Tuesday night makes no sense for anyone involved. Apart from the risk of spreading the virus, the Chiefs will then be forced to play 3 games within 10 days. They cried for 6-12 months about the Chiefs not getting a possession in OT during the AFC Championship 2 years ago–no chance Chiefs fans would let that one go. The NFL will lose out on the ratings of Chiefs vs Pats with Cam vs Mahomes. Mahomes vs Brian Hoyer doesn’t do anyone any good. Oh and no one cares about how this affects your fantasy team or your bets.
The NFL clearly has no plan for dealing with this. Starting the NFL season on time and continuing to let teams travel from city to city, playing a full contact sport like there isn’t a global pandemic going on was a ballsy move. Getting through camp and 2.5 weeks of the season was a miracle in itself. Now the NFL is extremely fucked. This isn’t going to stop with Cam and we can’t just randomly keep moving games 2 days. If I see one more person rejoice in getting Tuesday night football I might lose it. Extend the season if you have to, shut it down if that’s what’s best (sorry not sorry no one wants to hear that), but this ain’t working.
The NBA, NHL, MLB all had to make major changes to their seasons and the NFL really thought they could get away with business as usual. Just wish it didn’t have to be Cam.