CoronaVirus Among the Dolphins and Other Pro Sports

The news hit over the weekend about Jerome Baker and new offensive lineman Ereck Flowers having covid-19.

It’s obviously not good news for anyone, but they are also not shocking, unexpected cases. The NFL had protocols in place before camps begun to curb th spread as much as possible. As sports go, the NFL never said “no one will catch Coronavirus; we’re immune.” Instead, they knew it would happen and they have their policies in place. Now it’s time to see how well, if at all, the policies work.

I think the NFL planned far better than MLB, who has teams scrambling around the country playing makeshift games that aren’t even on the schedule…all because they never accounted for a team like the Marlins to have multiple covid cases.

One thought I had is that the NFL should play every other week. An 8-game season instead of 16. That way, if there are any major corona cases, the teams would have two full weeks to figure out a Plan B, instead of just a few days. But for now, the NFL insists on playing its normal schedule. I hope they don’t get overly confident like MLB did.

Several MLB players who tested positive in July are back and playing daily. And playing well. That’s certainly good news, but it’s still early. The best medical minds in the world can’t tackle this virus yet, and so much is still unknown. That part is scary. There is proof positive that if a pro athlete takes care of himself and self-isolated himself, the virus passes and he can return to form soon after. But will this happen in every single case? Again, too many unknowns.

Pro sports with no live fans is mind-blowingly strange. The sounds of silence are amazing. The sounds of players cheering and cursing is surreal. It must happen every game, but we’ve never heard it because the crowd noise drowns them out.

I see no reason why MLB can’t allow 5,000 fans per game spread all over the stadium. Or even 1,000. 500? One person per section? Require masks and close all but the most essential stands. The NFL is tinkering with that idea as well, allowing socially distanced fans to spread out across NFL stadiums. I think that’s a good step toward normalcy.

In the meantime, I hope you are all okay. I hope your jobs are secure and your families are safe.

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  1. Author

    Allen Hurns has opted out. I don’t know about you guys, but I support him or any player who chooses this. I myself would be very leery about playing a contact sport for the next 5 months when you’re inches away from total strangers day after day in practice and in games. No part of me condemns these guys as quitters.

    1. You can’t blame them for sure. Yesterday the St. Louis Cardinals had 12 players test positive. This is going to be tough. And then when kids go back to school!…Lookout!

    2. Agree 100%. Does it suck as fans that maybe some of your favorite players might not be out there, or that it may negatively impact your team if you get a lot of opt outs at key spots (ie New England) but this is something that is far more important than sports. Sure, most of these guys are world class athletes that will likely be fine but we don’t know what their family situation is, we don’t know who they have to worry about passing this virus to when they get home. They have to do what is best for them and their family and anyone that thinks otherwise is ignorant.

      In regards to the 16 game schedule… I still would love to see it happen just as a die hard fan that could really use that to look forward to each week but I agree the odds seem against us. If football could be played in a “bubble(s)” like the NHL and NBA are doing right now they could maybe pull it off but you can’t ask guys to isolate themselves from their families for the next 5 months realistically. So it’ll definitely be interesting to see how they adapt. Hopefully the majority of the players take it more seriously than the Marlins apparently did and the policies and procedures they have in place work as well as they are hoping but only time will tell.

      1. Author

        At first, I didn’t believe the “rumors” that a bunch of Marlins went out and partied in a crowded Atlanta bar without masks. But then it got confirmed by a thousand different people, and I had to change my tune. Still shaking my head on that one.

        1. It is very frustrating, not just in sports but in any walk of life, where there’s an outbreak tied to grossly irresponsible behavior in our current situation. I understand, believe me I do, how stressful and frustrating covid life is but the sooner people accept it and do the right things the sooner we can all get back to some semblance of normal life. (stepping off the soap box now lol)

  2. I will be truly surprised if we see 16 games this season. I do think Admins idea for an 8 game season is feasible since the NFL was going to eliminate half the preseason. But again fellas, I don’t think we’re going to see 16 games this year.

  3. Author

    Now Albert Wilson has bowed out. The WRs of our team were a strength. Now we’re down two quality guys with experience. It’s pretty much a developmental season anyway. This year’s Super Bowl champ won’t really need an asterisk, but at the same time, it won’t feel like a “real” Super Bowl either.

  4. Author

    Well, a week later, and honestly, I’d say things are as good as can be expected. A few players tested positive, stayed away, and now seem fine.
    A few players opted out of the season. I respect that decision fully. A few players being gone is much better than a whole squad.
    There have been no “baseball” moments, where half a team goes our to party and suddenly the whole league scrambles to re-write the schedule.
    It’s a combination, so far, of some good planning and some great luck that the NFL has gone this far. I know it’s only non-contact practice, but it’s a positive sign.

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