The recklessness from the NFL is mind-boggling.
Patriots star cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, sparking concerns about not only the health of Gilmore but of potential spread throughout the league.
Gilmore, the reigning defensive player of the year, played on Monday night versus the Kansas City Chiefs and could have potentially spread the virus to another organization.
He is the third Patriots player to test positive for the virus following practice guard defensive tackle Bill Murray and 2015 MVP quarterback Cam Newton.
The Patriots took two planes to Kansas City on Monday, one plane filled with players who had direct contact with Newton, another plane with players who had not had direct contact with the quarterback. Needless to say, that didn’t work out as well as they had hoped.
Newton, who tested positive this weekend, forced the NFL to reschedule the Patriots-Chiefs matchup to Monday night following his test results. Newton, of course, did not play versus Kansas City, but Gilmore did. Every defensive snap.
And after the game, Gilmore was seen talking face-to-face with Chiefs QB and the game’s biggest star, Patrick Mahomes.
Perhaps the league should, at the very least, bar teams from the traditional post-game hugfest.
The Patriots have canceled practice Wednesday and their game against the Denver Broncos this coming Sunday is now in jeopardy.
Gilmore had three tackles and one forced fumble on Sunday and was an integral part of the Patriots coverage against the speedy Kansas City receiving core.
As of Wednesday morning, it was reported that no Chiefs players had tested positive for the virus.
Gilmore’s positive test will generate a lot of criticism of the league for allowing the Patriots to play on Monday night. Many studies have proven that the coronavirus has an incubation period in the body that will cause it not to show up on tests immediately after someone is exposed to the virus.
According to Dr. Alan Wells of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a negative test within less than seven days after exposure is a “very, very poor indicator” in determining if you actually have the virus.
In the simplest terms, it’s possible Gilmore contracted the virus from Newton or Murray in the past few days and only tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Around the league, COVID control continues to be a significant issue. The Titans had two more positive tests today following the postponement of their game against the Steelers on Sunday. The Titans are currently under investigation from the league and the players association for compliance with COVID protocol concerns, part of the investigation will dive into whether or not the team had unauthorized workouts while the Titans facility was closed this past week.
Tennessee has now had 20 positive tests in the last week and a half. The Raiders Maurice Hurst also tested positive on Tuesday. This comes after 10 Raiders were fined for violating COVID-19 protocols by attending a charity event.
And the Green Bay Packers announced that they will be putting fan attendance on hold indefinitely at Lambeau Field this season due to an increase of COVID cases and hospitalizations in the Green Bay Area.
Yesterday, commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a league-wide message to clubs to enforce COVID protocols.
Goodell emphasized that “compliance is mandatory.”
The NFL will have some key decisions to make coming up in the next few weeks. What is the cost of endangering lives from week-to-week?
Gilmore could have potentially infected an entire organization and it would have been far too late to thwart the spread.
How the NFL is attempting to control this disease is despicable and players should be thinking twice about competing against teams that have documented cases.
Their safety and the safety of their loved ones should be of the utmost importance right now.
The league is continuously putting their players at risk by even having a season, the least it could do is exercise due diligence and wait a little longer before putting these men’s lives at risk.