The NFL never should’ve played Patriots-Chiefs two days after Cam Newton’s positive test. What an insane, dumb, season-altering decision.
Like most things the NFL actively chooses to do, especially when presented with safer options, playing Patriots-Chiefs last Monday (just two days after Cam Newton’s fateful positive test) was both dumb and dangerous.
We cautioned the league against acting too hastily and resuming their season at the time, and it must be said plainly: We know nothing. Nothing at all. We’re not epidemiologists, and we don’t want to be.
But we do know a select few things about how the coronavirus spreads by now, and those things include “rapidly,” “from asymptomatic carriers,” and “in close proximity, like, when you’re tackling infected players and absorbing their breath for several hours”.
We also know that the NFL has had a significant problem with false positives. It would stand to reason that would include false negatives as well, something we warned of while the league waved us off, too busy shoving the Patriots into unmarked vans and escorting them down the Mass Pike, separating the zombified “infected” from those who weren’t Cam Newton’s close contacts. And, not for nothing, if you’re not a “close contact” of the starting quarterback? You probably aren’t in great shape on this roster anyway.
Of course, that game was played, and the days in the wake of that decision have been lopsided messes, with positives, negatives and cancellations leaking out of all corners of the league’s purview.
We’re writing this on the heels of another positive (or maybe two?) in New England, one day after Newton and Gilmore returned to practice. There’s no place left for the NFL to shove Patriots-Broncos; both teams sacrificed their bye weeks, then watched the league’s cascading incompetence continue to compound the poor decision to send Brian Hoyer out there against the Chiefs.
The NFL was so desperate for a marquee matchup that they decided they did not care if Newton was even able to be under center for the Pats. They did not care that they endangered the health of the man on the other side of things, Patrick Mahomes, who hugged an infected Gilmore in the postgame. They did not care about the protocols they should’ve spent April and May caring about, better days when they were instead patting each other on the back for pulling off the Virtual NFL Draft that America so desperately needed (well done!).
And so, here we are. Thanks to the NFL’s hubris and desperation, several more Patriots are infected, their families and neighbors are at risk, and the team can’t get one wheel on the tracks for even one day without another one skidding off.
There was no justification for this decision, but the league went ahead and did it anyway, putting the safety of their most important players at risk. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. Got it. Now, stop me if you expected better.
Hey, why is no one stopping me?