COVID-19 weaved its obnoxious presence into the storyline of numerous NFL and college football games over the weekend. Here’s a just a sample.
Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson of the Ravens was one of four players who tested positive, which played a role in moving Baltimore’s game with Pittsburgh off the Thanksgiving schedule. It is now set to be played Tuesday night.
The NFL on Saturday decided to just shut down all team facilities for both Monday and Tuesday. No in-person activities will be allowed, except for teams playing on those nights. The NFL cited the spike in overall COVID-19 cases around the country, along with the fact that players across the league had hosted and interacted with out-of-town guests during the holiday weekend, so they are taking no additional chances and forcing teams to limit contact with each other.
In college football, two of the most high-profile coaches tested positive, affecting their presence for big games over the weekend. Alabama coach Nick Saban tested positive, which will force him to coach remotely for the Iron Bowl showdown between his Crimson Tide and Auburn.
Ryan Day, the head coach of Ohio State, also tested positive, forcing him to be declared out of the Buckeyes’ showdown with Illinois. Eventually that game was cancelled, as Ohio State announced a temporary pause in all athletic activities.
Just before Thanksgiving, it was announced that the Pinstripe Bowl, set to be played Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium, would be cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
It’s doubtful that COVID-19 is done weaseling itself into every aspect of Americans’ lives, including their ability to enjoy the college and NFL football seasons.