The NFL Playoffs Must Go On

There is  money to be made.

The National Football League is not worried about the integrity of the product during the COVID-19 pandemic. A team doesn’t have quarterbacks, no big deal. A team with numerous COVID-19 positive tests, no big deal, keep going. A playoff game without a coach and some players, no big deal. The games must go on. There is money to be made from television and marketing partners. The product needs to be put out before the public. The NFL somehow, someway played an entire season in 2020-21. COVID-19 is nothing more, so it seems, then a continuation of that old football proverb next man up. If someone goes down with an injury, next man up. Get in there.

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 NFL did test players and staff for COVID-19 on a daily basis during the regular season. That is continuing 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 got lucky. But will that luck hold out between now and the February 7th Super Bowl?

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after the team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)