The NFL might have a COVID-19 problem.
The league saw 37 positive tests on Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, with the Rams and Washington Football Team getting hit hard, and the Jets moving to all virtual meetings.
For the Rams, who play on Monday night, Jalen Ramsey was the biggest name to go on the COVID list. Darrell Henderson, Rob Havenstein, Dont’e Deayon and Tyler Higbee joined him, though Higbee may come off the list as early as Tuesday if he has a false positive, according to Schefter.
Jonathan Allen and David Mayo went on the COVID list for Washington, along with two practice squad players. Additionally, Chargers tackle Rashawn Slater was put on the COVID list, among others around the league.
The NFL hasn’t had major COVID issues to this point in the season, aside from the headache of Aaron Rodgers’ vaccination status. But in recent weeks, its numbers have gone up. Between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, there were 81 positive tests between players and staff, the most of any two-week period, making 37 in a single day cause for alarm.
The vast majority of coaches and players are vaccinated, but with higher caseloads throughout the country and the temperature falling, there have been more breakthrough cases.
The NFL isn’t the only sport having issues. The NHL’s Calgary Flames became the third team to have games postponed, following the Islanders and Ottawa Senators. In the NBA, the Bulls had two games postponed earlier on Monday, and at the college level, the Washington Huskies men’s basketball team has needed to shuffle games as well.
The obvious differentiator, though, is that the NFL is, mostly, an outdoor sport. It got through all of last season without postponing a game. And, though it doesn’t seem the league is in danger of that happening this time around, the fact that there have been so many positives will cause raised eyebrows nonetheless.