Mateo Vazquez ’21
Across the nation, COVID has once again risen to higher levels and continues to cause altercations amongst society and ways of life. Especially within the NFL, there chaos related to how teams are facing various issues and new policies just in order to take to the field and play the game. San Francisco’s new COVID policy now restricts how the 49ers are able to train and play for at least the next upcoming three weeks of their season.
As cases of COVID have been doubling within the bay area the decision was made to ban any contact sports for the next three weeks, including professional sports. Whether or not the team will be allowed to play on the road is still up for debate and remains an open question. However, practices and home games do not seem to be an option for the 49ers. They are already trailing in the NFC West and these new restrictions are definitely not benefiting the team in any way.
While the 49ers are having policy issues just trying to take the field, in Denver, Colorado, the Broncos faced their own COVID related issues. This past Sunday, the Broncos—including their entire quarterback roster—were placed in a quarantine. The main concern for Sunday’s game against the Saints was trying to fill the field of play just to have the game. With no quarterbacks and already short on wide receivers, the Broncos were forced to play wide receiver Kendall Hinton on the practice squad—who was drafted as a quarterback to Wake Forest for a short period during his college career. Despite this, it was quite evident that Hinton had not played the position for long as on Sunday he was only able to get 13 total yards on the field and threw for two interceptions.
The Saints had no issue containing the Broncos offense and the same went for their attacks on the defense. They finished the game 31-3—not much excitement in the game of play. All of this begs the question; is it worth it to still continue with the NFL season? And what this season will even mean in the records, with the limited ability of teams being able to play and the best talent of these teams not being adequately or consistently shown on the field? A particular concern moving forward with the NFL is how they will be able to handle the upcoming playoff season as the virus continues to be a threat.
Now possibly more than ever, before there is a push to allow for the use of an NFL bubble to contain the virus and allow for the season to finish out with the possibility of still having the Superbowl. Many opponents to the bubble are stating that the timing to create a bubble and the issues that it entails would only cause unnecessary delays. At this point in the season, if the League has not planned or established a bubble yet then it is unnecessary to attempt to create one as there are no guarantees that it would be successful. On the bright side, there is still less than a 1% positivity rate within the NFL and the league looks as if they are going to continue with the current protocols and see how those results fare for the remainder of the season.