Precautions the NFL is Taking to Ensure Players are COVID-19 Free

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Nick Mollahan, Staff Writer

The National Football League (NFL) 2020 season began Sept. 13, and since then, 52 players have tested positive for coronavirus. The league set many rules that players and staff need to abide by in order to play each week. Unlike the safety protocols of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the NFL has not isolated players in a “bubble” during the competing season. Some teams have taken a week off due to some of the athletes testing positive for the virus, such as the Tennessee Titans who had nine players test positive, and the New England Patriots who had three. The certain players that get the virus have to take two weeks off.

NFL safety protocols include daily tests for coronavirus, wearing masks when on the sideline of the football game, and wearing advanced technology bracelets during practice that check body temperature and heart rate. Spectators viewing games are limited to zero, except Florida who just reopened their stadiums to full capacity. “I do not get why the players and coaches are wearing masks when they are on the field with each other, but I understand that the NFL is forcing this upon them to promote stopping this virus,” senior Ryan Schwarz said.

When a player tests positive, they are sent home immediately to quarantine. There are two types of consequences for players getting the virus, the first is a Tier 1 player which means they are essential football personnel whose job requires direct access to players for 10 or more minutes at a time regularly like quarterback or center.  A Tier 2 player is another essential personnel who may need to be in close proximity to players or a Tier 1 individual. So, a player like Cam Newton, the quarterback of the New England Patriots who just tested positive, is a Tier 1 player, causing their game to get postponed and an emergency testing for all players and staff. “I wonder if Miramonte football will follow protocols like the NFL this year to keep all the players and staff healthy, but hopefully we get fans,” senior Bryan Graves said.

Only 12 players in the NFL have COVID-19 as of October 10th, although nine play for the Tennessee Titans from Nashville. The NFL is trying to work at keeping the players safe and testing regularly so there are no outbreaks throughout the teams or even the league.  “The players said they feel safe at their team facilities and that they believe their teammates, coaches and other members of their organizations are taking the protocols seriously,” writer, Dan Graziano said from ESPN. Making sure that these players stay healthy throughout the season is important to sports fans and the NFL has a tough road ahead of them making sure that all players and teams are healthy.