2020 NFL: Ongoing COVID-19 Impact

sodenj5

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Miami had their Week 1 game postponed due to a hurricane a few years ago and the NFL made them use their bye week to make up the game against the Bucs, IIRC. So there is precedent for the NFL forcing a team to cash in their bye, but that was also blind luck as both teams had the same bye week scheduled.

We all knew this would happen eventually, now it’s a matter of how well the NFL’s protocols work.
 

staz

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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.
It can actually take up to 14 days, so while shutting down until Saturday mitigates some risk, it guarantees nothing. Is waiting 96 hours a little better than 48 hours? Sure, but if they're going to cancel a game anyway, why not just shut down until next Monday? Unless they think TEN can reopen Sat and play Sun?

Edit: Also, if NFL expects TEN/PIT to be played Sunday, do they close PIT facilities too?
 
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Time to Mo Vaughn

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It can actually take up to 14 days, so while shutting down until Saturday mitigates some risk, it guarantees nothing. Is waiting 96 hours a little better than 48 hours? Sure, but if they're going to cancel a game anyway, why not just shut down until next Monday? Unless they think TEN can reopen Sat and play Sun?

Edit: Also, if NFL expects TEN/PIT to be played Sunday, do they close PIT facilities too?
It really has nothing to do with the physical facility and everything to do with the people exposed. And yes 96 hours is statistically very significant for testing accuracy after exposure.


The researchers estimated that those tested with SARS-CoV-2 in the four days after infection were 67% more likely to test negative, even if they had the virus.
 

staz

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It really has nothing to do with the physical facility and everything to do with the people exposed. And yes 96 hours is statistically very significant for testing accuracy after exposure.


My point was 96 hours may not be enough elapsed time for an infection to cause a positive test, so if the game were to be cancelled anyway (due to no practice all week), why not wait longer to ensure a higher degree of testing accuracy (or conversley, if testing accuracy is not viewed as a concern, just test everyone Wednesday and play Sunday). In other words, if the league is embracing some degree of risk that an asymptomatic person is infected, but tests negative at 96 hours (instead of the standard 14 days), then it's not that much more risk to test at 48 hours to preserve the schedule.

But looks like they're planning to have TEN play Monday (after not practicing all week) so the point is moot.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Tomorrow seems like it will be a very important day. Wednesday too.

One positive on Saturday and then 8 more on Monday. With 50 something close contacts for the 9 who were positive and with the Vikings not counting as close contacts. Hopefully, the players who tested positive were not starters or linemen.

As I understand the protocol you do not isolate close contacts. You only isolate the ones who tested positive. So any one of the 50 plus could be spreading right now.

I'm pessimistic here. Given that the team that had an outbreak was a travelling team and that it went from one to eight cases in 48 hours, and all of those cases has tested negative on Saturday, it's hard to imagine no further spread. Best case seems to be that they successfully confine it to the Titans and do what it takes to keep them from spreading further.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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mauf

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Tomorrow seems like it will be a very important day. Wednesday too.

One positive on Saturday and then 8 more on Monday. With 50 something close contacts for the 9 who were positive and with the Vikings not counting as close contacts. Hopefully, the players who tested positive were not starters or linemen.

As I understand the protocol you do not isolate close contacts. You only isolate the ones who tested positive. So any one of the 50 plus could be spreading right now.

I'm pessimistic here. Given that the team that had an outbreak was a travelling team and that it went from one to eight cases in 48 hours, and all of those cases has tested negative on Saturday, it's hard to imagine no further spread. Best case seems to be that they successfully confine it to the Titans and do what it takes to keep them from spreading further.
The big question is whether anyone on the Vikings tests positive. If a lineman with no other known exposures tests positive, that calls into question the adequacy of the league’s protocols, and the season is potentially at risk. If the Vikings’ tests all come back clean (or the only positive tests are people who clearly didn’t pick it up on the field), then the situation with the Titans is much more manageable.

From a fairness standpoint, I think forcing the Titans to play shorthanded without the benefit of practice is the best solution — might as well limit the impact to a single team. It also might have the added benefit of reinforcing the importance of everyone being careful. If you aren’t willing to live like a monk for a few months to protect everyone’s paychecks in a multibillion dollar enterprise, the opt-out process is there for you.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The big question is whether anyone on the Vikings tests positive. If a lineman with no other known exposures tests positive, that calls into question the adequacy of the league’s protocols, and the season is potentially at risk. If the Vikings’ tests all come back clean (or the only positive tests are people who clearly didn’t pick it up on the field), then the situation with the Titans is much more manageable.

From a fairness standpoint, I think forcing the Titans to play shorthanded without the benefit of practice is the best solution — might as well limit the impact to a single team. It also might have the added benefit of reinforcing the importance of everyone being careful. If you aren’t willing to live like a monk for a few months to protect everyone’s paychecks in a multibillion dollar enterprise, the opt-out process is there for you.
I agree with that. It's a little surprising that the Titans could have a coach who presumably was around players test positive on Saturday and nothing else is looked at until Monday. I guess it's just a consequence of the fact that they don't want to test on game days.

The weird part is that everyone will assume that the coach got it and spread it to the team, just based on the timing, but who knows if it actually works that way.
 

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I agree with that. It's a little surprising that the Titans could have a coach who presumably was around players test positive on Saturday and nothing else is looked at until Monday. I guess it's just a consequence of the fact that they don't want to test on game days.

The weird part is that everyone will assume that the coach got it and spread it to the team, just based on the timing, but who knows if it actually works that way.
They have a rule of no Sunday testing to avoid day of game false positives
 

tims4wins

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Tomorrow seems like it will be a very important day. Wednesday too.

One positive on Saturday and then 8 more on Monday. With 50 something close contacts for the 9 who were positive and with the Vikings not counting as close contacts. Hopefully, the players who tested positive were not starters or linemen.

As I understand the protocol you do not isolate close contacts. You only isolate the ones who tested positive. So any one of the 50 plus could be spreading right now.

I'm pessimistic here. Given that the team that had an outbreak was a travelling team and that it went from one to eight cases in 48 hours, and all of those cases has tested negative on Saturday, it's hard to imagine no further spread. Best case seems to be that they successfully confine it to the Titans and do what it takes to keep them from spreading further.
Wait tomorrow isn’t Wednesday? Shit
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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They have a rule of no Sunday testing to avoid day of game false positives
It seems like this rule, coupled with the apparent rule that you don't do anything if you get a positive on Saturday before you get on the plane rule, becomes a rule of "hope".

Wait tomorrow isn’t Wednesday? Shit
Oops -- the Tuesday and Wednesday tests, which I guess come on Wednesday and Thursday.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Re-read Goodell’s e-mail, they were isolated.
I was going more by the protocol than Goodell's memo, but you're right that he uses the word isolated -- I missed that. Assuming he is using this as shorthand for what the protocol requires, as I read it the close contact gets tested immediately and then again in 24 hours and can return to work if both tests are negative. Even assuming that this is all PCR testing, this can mean as little as 36 hours right? I guess it takes overnight for the second test to get returned so you get another overnight to see if the player becomes symptomatic, but then it's back to work. (There is follow up testing for the next 8 days too, but you're not isolated.)

I guess so long as they close the facilities, though, the duration of isolation doesn't much matter. Saturday is the relevant date.

(Of course, the whole thing also comes down to hoping that only close contacts are the ones that matter and that the shorter duration contacts don't. I hope that holds up.)
 

OurF'ingCity

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Seems like we are seeing a very similar situation to Miami in the MLB - it's very easy to transmit within a team when there's a breakout, but it's pretty difficult to transmit between teams just through on-field contact.
 

bsj

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How does moving the Titans v Steelers game exactly one day later accomplish anything whatsoever insofar as COVID? The people who are positive now won’t be cleared yet?
 

snowmanny

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Well every day the false negative goes down so a negative test 6-7 days out is definitely better than a negative test 4-5 days out. Still not foolproof though.
Ed-for those exposed. In the real world those who have tested positive get cleared before close contacts get cleared.
 

Harry Hooper

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I had been wondering if the NFL might hold its collective nose and go with a Tuesday game, and Rappaport's tweet indicates that's on the table.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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It occurs to me that this actually could be a good source of data about the virus in a way that we haven't really seen. It's probably way too small a sample and there are too many variables for it to be scientific, but I'd love to know some of the data. Like whether the close contacts tested positive. As I understand it the NFL identifies close contacts other than family to mean people who were within 6 feet for over 10 (or 15 depending on what sources you read) minutes. How many such people ultimately are positive? What were the conditions, etc. It's like the NFL has created this little bubble of fairly intricate contact tracing in a semi-controlled environment that could give some interesting data about how the virus spreads. Maybe we already have all the data from studies.

Anyway, without knowing the close contacts results, only 1 additional player testing positive seems like a good bit of info. I don't think we're out of the woods yet on the Vikings because yesterday's tests would have only been 48 hours after the game but with each day that goes by with no Vikings positives it's good news. I guess the interesting question now is how many additional close contacts there are for the new player and whether there are close contacts of any positive tested close contacts if any.

Once the baseball playoffs end it's kind of bleak sportswise and so I'm really hoping football figures it out. Maybe this will end up being controlled without anyone getting seriously sick and it will serve as a good caution that makes the league extra vigilant. There's so much money at stake that you know they have every incentive to take this seriously.

I was worried we were going to get much worse numbers today given that all these guys were on a plane together and probably buses and stuff.
 

bsj

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I had been wondering if the NFL might hold its collective nose and go with a Tuesday game, and Rappaport's tweet indicates that's on the table.
Im not sure why Tuesdays are so verboten. Seems to me the NFL can own Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday with some creative scheduling.
 

mauf

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How does moving the Titans v Steelers game exactly one day later accomplish anything whatsoever insofar as COVID? The people who are positive now won’t be cleared yet?
If they’re looking for negative result on a test taken 5 days after exposure, and exposure could have occurred as late as yesterday, then everyone could be cleared by Sunday, allowing for a game Monday.
 

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I really don't understand how Harbaugh hasn't been fined.

If you are going to allow coaches to remove masks so they can scream in the face of the ref then what is the point.

Of course we all know, as with virtual everything NFL, the point is PR.
And inconsistent enforcement isn't anything new either.

Watching many of these coaches and the mask seems so foreign to them. It is plainly obvious they haven't been wearing masks all week during practices. Masking up for game time only.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I can see The Onion headline now:

NFL Frustrated With Belichick’s Continued Compliance With Face Mask Rule
 

Over Guapo Grande

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"Illegal Face Mask, Coach of the Titans. 15 yard penalty, Automatic first down/loss of down."

EDIT : to add more meat to that bone... in game penalties, I think, hurt more than fines. Especially where coaches are concerned. A $750 fine won't deter much in the heat of the game, but changing field position would.
 

Ralphwiggum

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BigJimEd

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Early bye for them. Does make the most sense although I understand the reason the NFL tried to squeeze it.



"Illegal Face Mask, Coach of the Titans. 15 yard penalty, Automatic first down/loss of down."

EDIT : to add more meat to that bone... in game penalties, I think, hurt more than fines. Especially where coaches are concerned. A $750 fine won't deter much in the heat of the game, but changing field position would.
Well done.

You are right though. Screaming in a ref's face without a mask should be considered unsportsmanlike. 15 yard penalty with a 2nd offense resulting in the coach being disqualified. The same as a player. Players are expected to keep their cool. Coaches should be expected to as well.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I guess given the way the season is structured and incubation period, this is how it is going to be. Since they don't have to worry too much about 1,000,000 fans attending each week the league should have some flexibility here. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea for them to restructure the schedule to build in a couple of extra by weeks that can be used as safety valves for any future cancelations. Take out the week after the conference championships and maybe move back things and give each team an extra bye that can be used if they or their opponent cannot play one week.
 

scottyno

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NFL season isn't going anywhere, college has been dealing with this for a month, games get moved around, a few games get cancelled each week up to the last minute, some players miss time, most games go on as expected, too much money to cancel the season.