With the NFL looking to open training camps at the end of July, after major disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, and team facilities already in use, news broke today that several members of the Cowboys and Texans playing squads have tested positive for the virus.
While not unexpected, it will be a wake-up call for some of the more gung-ho voices calling for a full return of fans. As cases soar in Florida amid some of the more casual lockdown rulings, questions will likely be asked about the logic of reopening all the major leagues in the coming weeks.
Ezekiel Elliott is among the Cowboys players to have tested positive according to his agent, and with such a high profile player testing positive so early in the process it will likely give the NFL pause.
COVID-19 is still a major threat
Even as Florida is unlocking cases in the state have continued to gain pace, hitting new peaks four times in the last week, with reported cases now at 75,568 and deaths at 2,931. These figures will be well below reality as people die without being tested.
While many of us ponder our fantasy drafts and make predictions about the upcoming NFL season, it is important to realize that there are bigger issues out there, and those issues threaten not just the season, but the lives of those who play the game, and ensure the games are played.
Clearly there are going to be more players, many more players, and team staffers who will test positive over the course of the preseason. And at this stage, there is no sign of the NFL or state officials making any noises about slowing down or halting the season owing to new COVID-19 cases.