Los Angeles Rams star says entire family contracted COVID-19

Dec 2, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) and Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) during the game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

As the sports world powers through the ongoing pandemic in an attempt to return to live action, we sometimes forget about the human faces and names behind the scenes.

Taking part in a conference call after an NFLPA meeting on Friday, Los Angeles Rams Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth reminded us of that in a big way.

Rams star Andrew Whitworth says entire family contracted COVID-19

This really is what we’re dealing with in the United States right now. One family member deciding on what would normally be an innocent lunch. The entire family diagnosed with COVID-19, including Whitworth’s father-in-law having to spend time in a hospital. In all, Whitworth’s wife, children and in-laws all joined him in testing positive.

COVID-19 and the 2020 NFL season

All of this comes amid a rift between the Players’ Association and the NFL as it relates to starting training camp next week. Players don’t believe the league has COVID-19 protocols in place and are seeking more answers. In turn, multiple teams have already ordered their rookies and quarterbacks to report to camp early next week.

There’s also a financial backdrop to all of this. The NFL is looking to shed $40 million off player salaries for each team amid the economic downturn the virus has caused. Players want it pushed back to the 2021 campaign and subsequent seasons.

Regardless, Whitworth’s story is the human element to all of this. It should not be lost in the conversation.