COLUMN: A look at the NFL’s Handling of COVID

What's valued more by league to viewers: Safety or Optics?

If you can remember, it was just a short couple of months ago that players, front office personnel, as well as sports and political pundits were fretting over the NFL’s “lack” of a plan to keep everyone in the league protected from COVID-19.

There were many even questioning and doubting that the NFL season was even going to happen. Thankfully, those worries were proven wrong. At least through the first three weeks of action.

After three successful weeks of negative test results to start the regular season, the first positive cases arose leading into Week Four.

Since then, the NFL has had to postpone four games; one of them being rescheduled for a later week and the other three being moved to a later day within the same week. If you listen to the mainstream media or religiously watch ESPN, as I do, then you would be led to believe that the NFL is gradually losing control of keeping the virus out of the league.

The NFL has not lost control of the disease. Although they have had to postpone a handful of games, there have only been 17 players to test positive out of roughly 850 (about 2% of players. After a full offseason, plus four weeks of football, I would say that the NFL has done a solid job up until this point.

Although I think the NFL has handled the spread of COVID-19 fairly well by keeping positive cases down, I do think that many of their restrictions have been unnecessary.

For example, after week two, the NFL penalized three head coaches with $100,000 fines for not wearing their masks on the field: Pete Carrol, Kyle Shanahan and Vic Fangio. This seems nonsensical to me.

I understand that the NFL has special regulations set in place for this season, but it’s ridiculous coaches have to wear their masks on the field. Not only is everyone active in the NFL being tested daily, but the players are also not wearing masks on the sidelines. 

NFL players are not required to wear a mask on the sideline, so the coaches should not be forced to either. Regardless, everyone that is on the football field during a game is there for a reason. It is not because they are simply on the active roster.

It’s because they tested negative for COVID-19. 

While the NFL has been solid with handling the spread of the coronavirus, the mask requirements on the field go overboard. It seems more like an act of virtue signaling than actually keeping everyone safe on the field.