2020 NFL: Ongoing COVID-19 Impact

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Laddie's poll on number of games the Patriots play catches some of the coronavirus discussion, but there's been a mix of locations between that and the offseason thread, so I thought it would be better to have a single dedicated place like we have with MLB forum.

On Friday, Chiefs starting RG Laurent Duvernay Tardif became the first (and I believe still only) NFL player to opt out of the NFL season. His story is very different than most as he is a med school graduate and has been assisting at a long term care facility in Montreal during the pandemic.

Duvernay-Tardif, 29, is a medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada, and he had been assisting as an orderly in a long-term care facility in the Montreal area during the coronavirus pandemic.

In his social media post, he called the decision one of the most difficult of his life.

"Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system," he wrote. "I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients."
 

Pitt the Elder

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This is probably discussed in another thread, but what does the NFL plan to do re: fans at stadiums this year?
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Soxy

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Disappointed they didn't ask him the obvious follow up question: "do you wear a seat belt?" At least find out if he's logically consistent.

Anyways, he's already trying to walk it back. Kirk Cousins seems like a very stupid man.

 

BaseballJones

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No idea how accurate this is, but according to the NY Times, the odds of you dying (at some point) in a car crash are 1 in 103 (9.7%).


The odds of you dying from Covid - especially if you are young and healthy - are much much much less than that: 0.06%, and that's if you even contract the virus, which a lot of people won't.


So if he wears a seatbelt but not a mask, that's not being inconsistent, necessarily. Plus...in most places wearing a seat belt is the law. Plus...he's not getting paid to drive places, but he is getting paid to play football.

So...pretty different things.

(Now this is only about HIS risk...this isn't talking about the danger of spreading the virus to other people, which is a whole different kettle of fish...)
 

Preacher

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No idea how accurate this is, but according to the NY Times, the odds of you dying (at some point) in a car crash are 1 in 103 (9.7%).


The odds of you dying from Covid - especially if you are young and healthy - are much much much less than that: 0.06%, and that's if you even contract the virus, which a lot of people won't.


So if he wears a seatbelt but not a mask, that's not being inconsistent, necessarily. Plus...in most places wearing a seat belt is the law. Plus...he's not getting paid to drive places, but he is getting paid to play football.

So...pretty different things.

(Now this is only about HIS risk...this isn't talking about the danger of spreading the virus to other people, which is a whole different kettle of fish...)
1 in 103 is .97% which is much lower than 9.7% as well.
 

Soxy

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Way to miss my point, but cool.

If one believes that everything is up to God and their own decisions do not matter, which is what Kirk Cousins said, then wearing a seat belt is a waste of their time. That's all. If you carry his argument out to its logical endpoint, then there's no point in ever doing anything to protect yourself from anything, because some guy in the sky has already made the decision, so it's all moot. We're just playing out the script.

It's not like Kirk Cousins is weighing probabilities and making a data-driven decision here.
 

BaseballJones

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Way to miss my point, but cool.

If one believes that everything is up to God and their own decisions do not matter, which is what Kirk Cousins said, then wearing a seat belt is a waste of their time. That's all. If you carry his argument out to its logical endpoint, then there's no point in ever doing anything to protect yourself from anything, because some guy in the sky has already made the decision, so it's all moot. We're just playing out the script.
Yeah I wasn't really speaking to that point, so I'm sorry for kind of taking the discussion in another direction. My apologies.
 

Tuff Ghost

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Haha yeah...I get my math wrong sometimes! Still, death by car crash is more likely.
I am not sure that this is indisputably true, so I thought I'd play the devil's advocate for a moment. Granted all of this data is imperfect for various reasons, but it's what we've got.

The CDC (link to PDF on CDC.gov) shows the following data on US motor vehicle deaths and total US deaths from 2017:
Motor Vehicle Deaths || Total Deaths || Motor Vehicle Percentage of All Deaths
38,659 2,813,503 1.37%

The CDC also shows the following COVID death related data up to 9/2/20 (link):
Age Group || COVID Deaths || Total Deaths, All Causes || COVID Percentage of All Deaths
15-24 300 19,318 1.55%
25-34 1,318 40,030 3.29%
35-44 3,450 56,730 6.08%

Now healthy people with no risk-factors should fair better (I've recently seen numbers suggesting 94% of COVID deaths involve 1 or more underlying condition, but some NFL players would meet the obese BMI criteria, fair or not). If we're talking 6% (no underlying conditions) of 186,000 deaths, that's still 11,160 deaths so far in roughly half of a year. Some factors that could affect NFL players include:
  • Males have a higher risk factor
  • Obese BMI is a higher risk factor
  • Black people have a higher risk factor
Maybe NFL players expected COVID death percentage is lower than their overall age group, but I don't think it is clear cut that they have a lower likelihood than a car crash death.

(Car crash fatalities are highest with teenagers and 80+ year olds, but 20 year old males are the next highest group, i.e. most NFL players. I could not find CDC data that broke it down by age group like the COVID deaths.)
 

Section30

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It's not just the death rate to consider though. There are now multiple studies linking non fatal Covid to lasting heart damage.




With being Overweight and African American both having higher risk factors. This combined with 76 out of 100 patients showing evidence of injury like those seen after a heart attack(from the German study) makes for a compelling reason to not have football this year.
 

Cotillion

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It's not just the death rate to consider though. There are now multiple studies linking non fatal Covid to lasting heart damage.




With being Overweight and African American both having higher risk factors. This combined with 76 out of 100 patients showing evidence of injury like those seen after a heart attack(from the German study) makes for a compelling reason to not have football this year.
And there is also signs that sickle cell is a huge problem for getting the worst case symptoms of Covid. They are now starting to study if just being a carrier of sickle cell is enough to also increase the severity of your Covid symptoms.

Sickle cell being something that is far more common in the black population.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Really don't see how the Cardinals can play Sunday. Anyone exposed is likely to be to early to test accurately depending on when he became contagious.
 

OCST

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If one believes that everything is up to God and their own decisions do not matter, which is what Kirk Cousins said, then wearing a seat belt is a waste of their time.
Reminiscent of this, re: a small rural town dealing with an outbreak:


Jennifer Stiltner also went into the store without a mask, accompanied by her three children, Shawn, 17; Dakota, 12; and Emily, 7. Stiltner said she and her family find the masks uncomfortable — especially Shawn, who has autism. She put more stock in religious faith to keep them healthy.

“I pray every day for protection, that God protects us and watches over us,” she said. “I don’t think anybody wants to get it, but if we do, we know he’ll watch over us and keep us safe.”
Taken to its logical extension, doctors and drugstores are superfluous.

And for Cousins, that means no sports doctors, orthopedists, trainers, etc.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but a way to appeal to these morons might be in terms of their own athletic performance, ie staying COVID-free is part of your training, to take care of your body as an elite athlete.
 

johnmd20

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Reminiscent of this, re: a small rural town dealing with an outbreak:




Taken to its logical extension, doctors and drugstores are superfluous.

And for Cousins, that means no sports doctors, orthopedists, trainers, etc.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but a way to appeal to these morons might be in terms of their own athletic performance, ie staying COVID-free is part of your training, to take care of your body as an elite athlete.
It is worth mentioning, if you listened to the podcast, that Cousins wears a mask when he's out. He personally doesn't think it's necessary to protect himself, which is certainly his prerogative, but he's doing what is necessary for other's. This story is overblown via soundbite, which was taken out of context.
 

OCST

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It is worth mentioning, if you listened to the podcast, that Cousins wears a mask when he's out. He personally doesn't think it's necessary to protect himself, which is certainly his prerogative, but he's doing what is necessary for other's. This story is overblown via soundbite, which was taken out of context.
thanks for the correction
 

Soxy

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I can't remember who said it (maybe Dominique Foxworth?) but I heard somebody on a podcast recently say that the real test would be when the games started, as training camps are kind of like their own mini-bubbles anyways. Now that they're traveling, this is where it could go sideways. We'll see.

Hard to argue that they haven't done well thus far, but the season hasn't even started yet. Long way to go.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Falcons CB had a positive test result returned Saturday from his test Friday. We'll see how contact tracing impacts the team for today's game is the Bears.

 

OurF'ingCity

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Don't see how they can play Sunday, without any practice time this week. Assuming with bye weeks and room on the back end(meaning pushing the playoffs and super bowl back if need be), the league can make up the seemingly inevitable postponements that are going to occur.
Agree it would absolutely absurd to make the Titans play or forfeit if they can't practice at all this week (although maybe that would be a strong incentive for teams to make sure they are being as aggressive with Covid-19 protocols as they can be?).

In this specific situation, the following adjustment could work:

TEN and PIT move their bye week to this week.
TEN-PIT game gets moved to Week 11.
TEN-IND (previously scheduled for Week 11) gets moved to Week 7 (when TEN and IND previously had their bye week scheduled)
PIT-BAL (previously scheduled for Week 11) gets moved to Week 8 (when PIT and BAL previously had their bye week scheduled)
IND and BAL move their bye week to Week 11.

Needless to say that means that there is no longer any room for error for any more cancellations involving any of those 4 teams.
 

cshea

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I think this works, but I don't know.

Tennessee's bye is week 7, Pittsburgh is week 8. Pittsburgh is scheduled to play week 7 against Baltimore and then have the bye. Move the Steelers bye to this week. They make up the Tennessee game week 7, Baltimore's bye goes from week 8 to 7 and then the Steelers and Ravens week 7 games moves to week 8?
 

IdiotKicker

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Since most stadiums aren’t hosting fans, they really should have built one extra bye week into the calendar for all teams by just giving them the first week in November off or something like that with the understanding that it could be used for this reason. Do the same thing at the end of the year and add an additional week off before the playoffs in the event you get something like this in the second half of the year too.
 

singaporesoxfan

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I think this works, but I don't know.

Tennessee's bye is week 7, Pittsburgh is week 8. Pittsburgh is scheduled to play week 7 against Baltimore and then have the bye. Move the Steelers bye to this week. They make up the Tennessee game week 7, Baltimore's bye goes from week 8 to 7 and then the Steelers and Ravens week 7 games moves to week 8?
I can imagine Steelers fans get upset by suddenly having a week 3 bye but I guess that’s COVID for you
 

cornwalls@6

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Agree it would absolutely absurd to make the Titans play or forfeit if they can't practice at all this week (although maybe that would be a strong incentive for teams to make sure they are being as aggressive with Covid-19 protocols as they can be?).

In this specific situation, the following adjustment could work:

TEN and PIT move their bye week to this week.
TEN-PIT game gets moved to Week 11.
TEN-IND (previously scheduled for Week 11) gets moved to Week 7 (when TEN and IND previously had their bye week scheduled)
PIT-BAL (previously scheduled for Week 11) gets moved to Week 8 (when PIT and BAL previously had their bye week scheduled)
IND and BAL move their bye week to Week 11.

Needless to say that means that there is no longer any room for error for any more cancellations involving any of those 4 teams.
Yeah, with most places allowing limited, if any, fans, and most of the stadiums not being used for anything else, they should have lots of flexibility to use the bye weeks as contingencies, per your scenario. Whatever competitive inconveniences it may cause some teams, are simply the cost of doing business in 2020.
 

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We may never know but would be interesting to know who precisely on Tennessee tested positive in terms of seeing how transmission may or may not occur during an NFL game. For example, if the Tennessee positive players are two special teams guys and the backup QB and no one on Minnesota tests positive, that doesn't really say much. But if the Tennessee positive players include linemen who got significant playing time, and then Minnesota is cleared, that would be good news about the difficulty of transmitting Covid even among players in the "trenches" (and, conversely, if Minnesota linemen did end up testing positive that would be concerning).
 

cshea

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I can imagine Steelers fans get upset by suddenly having a week 3 bye but I guess that’s COVID for you
Yeah, it'd suck to have a bye this early, but don't they usually start around week 4 anyways? So it's not a huge difference. If they have to postpone the Vikings game @ Houston this week, that looks like a much tougher re-schedule.

I remember in 2001 the Patriots had a really dumb bye like week 15 or 16 or something like that. That's neither here nor there though, I just thought about it thinking about schedule changes.
 

tims4wins

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I can imagine Steelers fans get upset by suddenly having a week 3 bye but I guess that’s COVID for you
Yeah, it'd suck to have a bye this early, but don't they usually start around week 4 anyways? So it's not a huge difference. If they have to postpone the Vikings game @ Houston this week, that looks like a much tougher re-schedule.

I remember in 2001 the Patriots had a really dumb bye like week 15 or 16 or something like that. That's neither here nor there though, I just thought about it thinking about schedule changes.
First of all, next week IS week 4, not week 3.

In 2001 the Patriots had a week 16 bye due to the week 2 postponement post 9/11. I think they were originally scheduled to have a week 3 bye and the NFL changed the schedule so they wouldn't have back to back weeks off. I have no idea if it helped them or not, but they went bye, week 17 blowout win at Carolina, another bye, then the Snow Bowl. Of course, there was no by between the championship games and Super Bowl that year. I wonder if that helped in terms of beating the Rams.

Their dumbest ever bye was in 2004. They played the Thursday night opener at home against Indy; played in Arizona against the Cardinals 10 days later after the "mini-bye"; and then had week 3 off.
 

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I assume given the relatively huge amount of lead time the NFL had to assess risks they would likely encounter, they have a ton of white paper contingency plans in their pandemic playbook. and probably one with the subject heading "lets try and not piss off Trump by cancelling games" If they have to push the SB into April to accomodate make-up games, I imagine they can.
 

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We may never know but would be interesting to know who precisely on Tennessee tested positive in terms of seeing how transmission may or may not occur during an NFL game. For example, if the Tennessee positive players are two special teams guys and the backup QB and no one on Minnesota tests positive, that doesn't really say much. But if the Tennessee positive players include linemen who got significant playing time, and then Minnesota is cleared, that would be good news about the difficulty of transmitting Covid even among players in the "trenches" (and, conversely, if Minnesota linemen did end up testing positive that would be concerning).
Shane Bowen, the Titans OLB coach, missed the game just gone against the Vikings as he tested positive on Saturday. I'd assume this is continued fallout from him.
 

staz

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I really don't why TEN needs to shut down facilities for 4 days (and jeopardize their game). Sanitize every square inch, test everyone, and reopen Thursday morning.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I really don't why TEN needs to shut down facilities for 4 days (and jeopardize their game). Sanitize every square inch, test everyone, and reopen Thursday morning.
It takes a few days to test positive if you have it after you've been exposed. If they were exposed yesterday, they may not test positive until Friday or Saturday.
 
I assume given the relatively huge amount of lead time the NFL had to assess risks they would likely encounter, they have a ton of white paper contingency plans in their pandemic playbook. and probably one with the subject heading "lets try and not piss off Trump by cancelling games" If they have to push the SB into April to accomodate make-up games, I imagine they can.
I'm inclined to agree with you. I'd suggest pushing back the last few weeks of the season by a week and fitting in any COVID-affected postponements in, say, Week 15, in what would now become a second bye week for all of the other teams. You could maybe even stagger that second bye week in such a way that half of the teams play their Week 15 games in Week 15 and half of them play it in Week 16, with any postponed games going into one of those two weeks. The NFL would get extra TV revenue for there being an extra week of regular seasons games; what's not to like?
 

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I remember reading something from Schefter, I think, back in the spring after the NFL released the schedule that they have all kinds of contingencies in place to push back the Super Bowl as long as they need.