Peter King spoke to a few players that are members of the NFLPA board about the concerns surrounding the NFL’s plan on how testing would work as training camp is a week away. King believes the real issue is what happens when the season starts and a player spreads COVID to their family? Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth said one of his family members went to lunch, even though they practiced social distancing, came down with COVID and spread it to all nine members of Whitworth’s family. Yes, they all made a full recovery, and that included a wide age range from Whitworth’s children to his parents, but not everyone may be as fortunate.
King said, what happens when a young player on the roster gets careless, decides to go to a bar one night, and spreads it to the rest of the team? A bit far-fetched, but plausible. Which brings us to the question of how will testing work? BioReference Labs is what the NFL will use, and they have a 24-hour period to get tests back to teams, per King, who says the NFL is working on a saliva test that will have instant results. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman feels like there should be daily testing. Sherman believes it’s essential that the league has daily testing. Here is King’s blurb with Sherm:
The Niners corner and NFLPA board member told me Saturday it’s essential that the league has daily testing. The reason: Because there are false positives and false negatives, if you’re not testing daily, it could be several days before a false result gets cleared up. Think of the problems if there’s not daily testing, and there’s an ambiguity to the test or a mistake, and your quarterback is sidelined for days. Testing daily—at least at the start of the process—is essential.
Last point. I’m dubious about the NFL’s ability to play this season in full. There are 10 teams in hot-spot states Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and California. The NFL is not playing in a bubble. The chances that none of those teams will be ravaged by COVID-19 seems far-fetched. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it. I asked several players about the chances the NFL will be able to start and finish the season.
Richard Sherman: “No one knows. But I feel like the way this league runs, if this season starts, they’ll fight tooth and nail to finish.”
I think we all agree with Sherm’s final point and realize the NFL is going to do any and everything they can to play the season, despite how uncomfortable the players are with the lack of protocols or plans in place.