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Tipsheet

Oh, So That's Why We Have NFL Games Being Played on Tuesday

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Did you notice anything different last NFL Sunday? Where were the Eagles, Browns, Raiders, Redskins, Seahawks, and Rams? Where were those games? They got postponed due to a massive COVID outbreak. I’m sure you’ve all read the stories. The NFL had over 100 players test positive, including some franchises’ talent that caused teams to beg the league to postpone the games (via CNBC): 

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More than 100 NFL players reportedly have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week.

The Raiders-Browns game in Cleveland, originally scheduled for Saturday, will be played Monday afternoon. Two games that were set for Sunday — the Seahawks vs the Rams and the Washington Football Team against the Philadelphia Eagles — will be played Tuesday night.

“We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the [National Football League Players Association] as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league,” the NFL said in a statement.

“We continue to make decisions in consultation with medical experts to ensure the health and safety of the NFL community,” the league said.

For Eagles fans, there might have been a march on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s house for pushing the game back. The Eagles have a must-win game against the Redskins* that got delayed. Now, there appears to be the start of a COVID outbreak among the Eagles as the two NFC East teams are primed to face off later tonight. It seems as if Mr. Goodell finds new ways for people to hate him. 

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The irony about this is that the NFL’s COVID vaccine policy was its big stick to get players vaccinated. Unlike last season, it was quite clear that if a team suffered a COVID outbreak that might prevent them from playing, there would be no postponements and no pay. It wasn’t a mandate, but there was a lot of incentive to not be "that guy" when it came to a viral outbreak on a team. It worked. The NFL is one of the most vaccinated workplaces in the country, with 90-plus percent of players receiving the shot. All NFL support staff have been vaccinated—and we still had an outbreak. The Omicron variant seems to be more contagious, less-lethal but able to evade the vaccine. The good news is that if you get it and you’re vaccinated—you’re probably not going to die. In fact, virtually no one has died from Omicron, unlike the previous Delta wave. The vaccines prevent severe illness and death but do a so-so job in curbing the spread. I think this is the reality we’re going to have the live with, as with any virus out there. 

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Still, if the Eagles lose tonight, I don’t want to be in Philly. They then must play the Giants on just four days' rest. There are going to be injuries.

Yet, back to the NFL’s policy, that big stick turned into rubber. Granted, it changed the protocols, but I doubt that will offer much comfort to those teams and fans who still have playoff hopes. 

*They’re the Redskins in my book—always will be. I will never call them the…Washington Football Team. 

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