As the NFL prepares for the 2020 season, players are dealing with the uncertainty of playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those fears were highlighted Thursday when the NFL Players Association revealed 72 players have tested positive for the coronavirus.
72 NFL players have tested positive for COVID-19
Even before players report for training camp, which is scheduled to be July 28, the NFL experienced a wave of coronavirus cases. In late June, one-third of the league had at least one player test positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, with the pandemic worsening, the numbers are getting worse.
According to the NFL Players Association, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, 72 players are known to have tested positive for the virus. While that number is small considering there are nearly 3,000 players on rosters, the 2.5% of positive tests is more than double MLB’s rate before its players reported for spring training this month.
Soon, players will be together at team facilities and in close proximity. While the NFL has created social distancing guidelines for training camp, it doesn’t have a deal outlining testing protocols, player safety and other vital matters that will impact the upcoming season.
What NFL players have tested positive for COVID-19?
While teams aren’t allowed to report the specific names of players who have tested positive for COVID-19, we have some revelations over time. From NFL stars to coaches and even an owner, the virus is impacting the entire league.
- Multiple Tampa Bay Buccaneers players tested positive for the virus.
- Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill was hospitalized due to COVID-19.
- An assistant coach on Tampa Bay’s staff contracted the coronavirus.
- Ezekiel Elliott, along with multiple Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans’ players, tested positive.
- At least one San Francisco 49ers player tested positive after a group workout.
- Denver Broncos star Von Miller and safety Kareem Jackson each got COVID-19.
- Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen was the first NFL player to test positive.
- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was the first known person in the NFL to get the coronavirus.