The New England Patriots’ players are clearly nervous after a coronavirus outbreak has affected Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore.
Prior to the 2020 NFL season beginning, no team was forced to deal with more opt-outs than the New England Patriots, proving there was plenty of skepticism about the safety and validity of this weird campaign.
From prime positions like ILB (Dont’a Hightower) and safety (Patrick Chung), the Patriots shed many of their most dogged competitors, all for the same reason: They were nervous about what a coronavirus outbreak would do to them and, most importantly, their families.
Even the McCourty twins, who ultimately chose to participate in the season, brought a healthy amount of skepticism to camp, specifically about the faith they had in the league’s players to follow the protocols in place.
And now, after Week 4, look where we are. The Tennessee Titans have a team-wide outbreak that’s worsened in part because players pulled together an unsanctioned workout while on lockdown, and the NFL showed its true colors by hustling the Patriots and Chiefs into a Monday battle before watching Stephon Gilmore test positive for coronavirus after playing in the game.
According to one anonymous Patriot, the same fear that existed before the season is still there: What does this mean for our families?
This anonymous source hits the nail on the head.
Of course NFL players will get better care for coronavirus complications than most Americans, but that doesn’t mean its not scary. And that doesn’t mean that the NFL’s “all systems go” approach shouldn’t be met with heavy skepticism.
After all, we all knew the virus might not present itself for several days even when the team sprinted to Kansas City. It didn’t…until it did, in the person of Stephon Gilmore, spotted getting unnecessarily close to Patrick Mahomes in the postgame scrum.
Say what you will about the league’s preferred players, but if that isn’t a wakeup call, nothing will be.
The virus has now officially arrived in New England, despite the NFL’s (stated) best intentions, which they have not at all adhered to.
And it’s only natural to be nervous.