We’ve just had reports that some members of the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans have tested positive for COVID-19.
What does it mean?
Hard to say, other than this is part of what we can expect from the new reality surrounding this pandemic.
What We Know, Don’t Know
The early reports are that “some” players on the two teams have come
down with the virus. Ezekiel Elliott is one of those, according to his agent, who says the Cowboys’ star running back is “feeling good.”
But who the other players are and how many there are isn’t out yet. The Cowboys have released a statement saying they are not allowed to release names, because of privacy laws.
And of course we don’t know exactly how the players contracted the virus. They are not yet allowed in team facilities, even though they are undergoing routine coronavirus tests.
Players have been essentially on their own and using their own judgment, residing in a state that has been opening up under a phased program of getting back to normal.
Plus some players have been working out in small groups together.
What it Means
I’m thinking that this is sort of a preview of the new normal we may be facing for a while, maybe throughout the NFL season.
That means that in the NFL, coronavirus cases could become as normal as knee injuries; periodically players will be listed on a 14-day inactive list because of the virus.
And there is still a chance that the season could be delayed because of this ugly bug. Some coaches are already questioning the logic of going forward with the season as scheduled.
But the league has the luxury of time, a few weeks to check virus trends and government reaction. Training camps don’t begin for another month, the Cowboys are scheduled for the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 6, and the Texans begin their preseason a week later.
Meanwhile, the NFL can see how restarts work in the NBA and NHL, and how major league baseball gets going.
I doubt that this latest report of positive tests from the two teams will change scheduling significantly, at least for now.
But I would not be astounded if things change in the next few weeks.
I have said for a while that we are under the dictates of this virus, at least until a vaccine is circulated.
And because of that reality, the NFL is like any other entity – making things up as they go along.