NFL Somehow Makes It To The End Of The Season

COVID-19 did not wreck the league’s schedule.

Somehow the National Football League has staggered through the season with every team being able to play a 15-game schedule going into the final week of the season. NFL officials got very lucky although some of the games that were played might not have been bona fide contests because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Denver did not have its quarterbacks for one game. The Baltimore Ravens organization was hit with a COVID-19 outbreak but Ravens games went on with the NFL rescheduling games that not only involved Baltimore but other teams as well. The National Football League will be presenting playoff games and the Super Bowl even if players are missing because they have come down with the virus. The National Football League and The National Football League Players Association agreed that no playoff games would be rescheduled for competitive reasons.

The NFL is not taking extra precautions for the playoffs and allowing teams to work in local markets instead of putting all the teams in a bubble such as other leagues did. The National Football League has been testing players and staff for COVID-19 on a daily basis. That will continue during the playoffs.  The NFL also is allowing teams to fill rosters with practice squad players without exposing those players to waivers if those players are needed to fill in roster spaces because of COVID-19. For better or worse the playoff schedule will continue until the Super Bowl although there is no provision if there is an outbreak of a dozen cases or so on a team. The NFL has been very lucky.  The December 30th Music City Bowl in Nashville was cancelled because one of the teams, the University of Missouri had a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, College football was battered by COVID-19. The NFL was not and got lucky. But will that luck hold out?

FILE – In this Dec. 20, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry , left, runs past Detroit Lions outside linebacker Jamie Collins during the second half of an NFL football game in Nashville, Tenn. Henry led the NFL with 1,540 yards rushing last season before running the Titans to their first AFC championship game in 17 years. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)