The COVID-19 outbreak around the NFL is not showing any signs of fading one day before Week 16 kicks off in a game between the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers.
The league announced on Wednesday that 38 more players have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to more than 12% of the league.
This obviously isn’t great news for an NFL that is hellbent on completing the 18-week regular season and playoffs on schedule. Obviously, it has impacted competitive balance as well. That came to a culmination with both the Washington Football Team and Cleveland Browns being forced to rely on third-string quarterbacks in games that were postponed from the weekend to mid-week. Both lost, pretty much ending their playoff hopes in the process.
Notable NFL players who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday
- Austin Ekeler, running back, Los Angeles Chargers
- Jalen Guyton, wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers
- Greg Newsome cornerback, Cleveland Browns
- Brandin Cooks, wide receiver, Houston Texans
- Mike Remmers, offensive line, Kansas City Chiefs
- Rodger Saffold, guard, Tennessee Titans
- Devin Bush, linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
In particular, the Titans will now be without the entire starting left side of their offensive line when they take on San Francisco Thursday evening. In addition to Saffold being on the reserve/COVID-19 list, left tackle Taylor Lewan has already been ruled out.
That’s not great going up against potential NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa and a stingy 49ers defense. Tennessee finds itself at 9-5 on the season and just one game ahead of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South heading into Week 16 of the NFL season. As for the 49ers, they are 8-6 and currently the sixth seed in the NFC.