BOSTON (CBS) — From the earliest days of the global coronavirus pandemic, the NFL has plowed ahead with business as usual, determined to not let COVID-19 interfere with the 2020 offseason and regular season. That strategy may soon be adjusted.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that multiple players from the Cowboys and the Texans have tested positive for COVID-19. Shortly after that report, Rapoport said that star running back Ezekiel Elliott is among the group to test positive.

Though Rapoport noted that the players had not been inside their teams’ facilities, the positive tests show how complicated it will be for NFL teams to even try to return to action this year.

Outside of Elliott “feeling good,” Rapoport did not note whether the other players were symptomatic or asymptomatic. Either way, the fact that players are carrying the virus now — before teams have assembled with 90 players sharing a workspace — does not particularly bode well for a league that has been intent on working through this pandemic.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio added to the report, stating that four total players — two from the Cowboys, two from the Texans — tested positive, and that one of those players attended George Floyd’s funeral last week along with several other teammates.

Elsewhere in Texas, the University of Houston suspended all voluntary workouts last week after six athletes test positive for COVID-19 and were symptomatic.

Elliott expressed some displeasure on Twitter that this news leaked out.

Last week, the NFL sent a memo to teams explaining the protocols that must be followed when facilities open to all players. The league remains focused on creating environments that make the spread of the virus as difficult as possible.

Nevertheless, this is a virus that has proven to be difficult for anyone to contain, no matter the industry. And it appears as though the NFL’s fight to try to continue with business as usual has officially gotten much more difficult.


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