Broncos veteran shares strong opinion about playing during COVID-19 pandemic

By Jesse Reed
Sep 15, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; A general view of Denver Broncos helmets on the sidelines in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is preparing to start the 2020 season on time. Denver Broncos veteran cornerback Kareem Jackson has a strong opinion about what it would take for that to happen.

Kareem Jackson: It doesn’t make sense unless it’s 100% safe

Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic shared what Jackson said about playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I just think for us, it doesn’t make sense to play any games unless it’s completely, 100% safe for us to go out there,” Jackson said. “If there’s any threat of us being able to (contract) COVID-19 in any way and spread it to our families or anybody we’re around, it just doesn’t make sense.”

The NFL has a big hurdle to clear if it is going to play games. Testing is the key. The league would need a staggering amount of COVID-19 test kits to pull it off for an entire season.

But what Jackson is saying here goes beyond the ability to test, and do it quickly. He seems to be saying he doesn’t feel comfortable playing until it’s no longer a threat at all. He also indicated he’s not alone in thinking this way, saying, “…talking with some of the guys, it just doesn’t make sense to go play any games unless it’s 100% safe for us to go out there.”

Given the fact that even the most optimistic estimates indicate it’ll be the end of 2020 before a vaccine will be ready, that could be a long time coming.

Jackson not a fan of playing games without fans

There has been plenty of talk about the NFL playing games without fans in the stands. This isn’t something Jackson is interested in doing.

“I think I heard them saying something about us playing with no fans and all that. That would be like practice, so in my opinion, that would suck,” Jackson said, per Jhabvala.

Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated the way to get sports back soon is to do it without fans. So, whether players want to or not, that may be their only option in the short term.