FOXBORO (CBS) – Just as Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore were removed from the Covid-19 list, another Patriots player was added to it, which has fans worrying if the NFL season can make it to February.
“I’m starting to worry about the NFL season,” said Logan David of Boston. “There’s been a lot of games postponed now.”
As yet another Patriots player tests positive for Covid-19, this time center James Ferentz, fans wonder how long this season can last in a pandemic.
“They should’ve just did what the NBA done,” said Abdul Hmina of Burlington. “Play in a bubble and keep everybody safe.”
Dr. Mark Siedner of Mass. General Hospital said these outbreaks are almost inevitable because of the nature of the sport.
“You have 22 people lining up every week for hours at a time standing face to face or more, mask-less. That’s a level of risk that almost no one else needs to manage,” Dr. Siedner said.
“I’m certainly not one to second guess the start of the season, and I’m certainly not even one to say it definitely needs to be shut down now, but there are very clear paths the NFL needs to now take to protect its players and make sure that the season, if it does continue, does so safely,” Dr. Siedner added.
The most obvious path, he says, is guaranteeing any exposed player quarantines for 14 days. That means anyone who came in close contact with Ferentz should be isolated for two weeks.
The Pats abruptly canceled Friday’s practice and media availability, but the game against the Broncos is still on for Sunday.
Ferentz is now the fifth member of the Patriots to land on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list in the last two weeks. Quarterback Cam Newton, corner Stephon Gilmore and practice squad DT Bill Murray all came off the list earlier this week, while defensive tackle Byron Cowart remains on the list.