Positive Tests on Titans, Patriots, and Raiders; How NFL Should Adapt the Season

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Tuesday brought some good news with regards to the NFL and Covid. The Titans had no new positive tests and looked on track to play the Bills. Cam Newton was asymptomatic, and there was reportedly hope of him playing Sunday against the 49ers.

Wednesday morning has … not brought great news. There have been two positive tests on the Titans, one on the Raiders, and one for star Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore:

On Tuesday, the NFL announced new, stricter Covid-19 protocols:

It remains to be seen if Titans-Bills, Patriots-49ers, and Raiders-Chiefs will happen on Sunday. One positive test on the Raiders, for example, does not necessarily mean the game will be canceled.

Nonetheless, it’s time for the NFL to dust off their contingency plans because right now their sport looks a lot like MLB did when the Marlins and Cardinals were testing positive in droves. The NFL does not have the luxury of being able to play doubleheaders to make up dates like MLB. Furthermore, there aren’t going to be a lot of easy fixes going forward, like rearranging bye weeks in order to reschedule missed games as they did with Titans-Steelers.

As I see it, there are two potential things the NFL could do:

1) Make it so the playoffs are determined by winning percentage, accepting that teams will play an unequal amount of games.

2) Extend the season to Week 18 and possibly Week 19 to ensure a level playing field for playoff berths.

In my opinion, option no. 2 is much more palatable. It’s pretty easy to add Week 18. They could get rid of the bye week before the Super Bowl and hold their title game on the same date. Week 19 is a little dicier, but it would push the Super Bowl back to President’s Day weekend, which is arguably where it should be regardless.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. Word went out that Joe Biden is losing the Black Vote to Trump. So now the entire sports ‘environment’ has to throw a fit.

    Let’s see if stupid spreads … bet lots of ‘non sick’ Covid positive players will come out and do joe Biden commercials soon.

    John Radcliffe is releasing Obama coruption info and it will stick to Biden.🇺🇸 Maga.

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