The Jacksonville Jaguars announced four rookies have been placed on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Major League Baseball isn’t the only sport dealing with the spread of the Coronavirus as it started its season this past weekend. The NFL and the Jacksonville Jaguars are also dealing with their own issues of the pandemic as it was announced four rookies have tested positive and are now under quarantine, per the team’s public relations department.
As I was working on writing more about the Miami Marlins and how COVID-19 has ravaged the parent club over the past weekend, whereas many as 14 individuals have contracted the virus, I received a text message at 5 PM yesterday from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"“The Jaguars have placed rookie FB Connor Slomka on the team’s Active/Non-Football Injury list and have placed rookie CB Luq Barcoo, rookie DT DaVon Hamilton, rookie CB Josiah Scott and rookie OL Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list.“The Reserve/COVID-19 list is a new reserve category created by the NFL for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons.”"
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and his staff already had issues to deal with that weren’t related to COVID-19 before this news broke on Monday.
The Jaguars are not the only team dealing with issues related to the virus as Patrick Schmidt of FanSided.com reported the Minnesota Vikings has personnel who have contracted COVID-19.
"“The Minnesota Vikings organization is the latest example of this as the team announced VP of Sports Medicine/head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman, the team’s Infection Control Officer in the battle against COVID-19, has tested positive for the virus,” he wrote."
With the start of NFL training camp, just days away and the remaining veterans of all 32 teams reporting to training camp facilities today, the Pandemic the NFL and other major sports are trying to stay away from is rearing its ugly head.
This is a time when football, baseball, hockey, and basketball are all trying to find some semblance of normalcy in a world where fear is still very real and numbers of cases in our country continue to rise.
Especially in Florida.
The Marlins situation is a reminder to all sports fans and our country this could become an even bigger situation for both baseball and football and how many other players are reported to have the virus remains the bigger news than the start of sports being played for the sake of being sports.
As a fan, a writer, and a person with an autoimmune disorder, it is an uneasy time to say the least. I suspect there will be other stories written about players who test positive as well as players opting out of playing this season for fear of safety and health concerns.
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"“When the person tasked with the battle against COVID-19 in the team’s building is testing positive, it shows you that no matter how many safety precautions that are in place, the virus is still finding ways to infect and this will continue to spread,” Schmidt added."
The Marlins were the first baseball team to have concerns about being able to field a team to play this week, and games against the Baltimore Orioles at Marlins Park were canceled both on Monday and Tuesday. There is a belief the teams could resume play on Wednesday.
"According to Mike Oz of Yahoo Sports, “Major League Baseball is reportedly not considering canceling its season after a coronavirus outbreak on the Miami Marlins has infected a third of the team, affected three other teams and postponed at least two games this week.”"
Would the NFL or the Jaguars have to do the same thing – shut down TIAA Bank Field – if there was such an outbreak that it affected half the team or put the team’s ability to play one of their 16 games in jeopardy? The outbreak by the Marlins also affected the Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Yankees as the team from the Bronx assumed the locker room the visiting team used over the weekend.
The same thing could happen here in Jacksonville. The NFL will continue its offseason without preseason games to limit the contact between players on the field prior to the start of the regular season. In a sport where there is more person to person contact than any other and players, despite wearing armor for protection are in more closed contact than any other sport, I have a bad feeling there will be more stories like this written each week.
There will be stories about key players testing positive for COVID-19 as it continues to take over as the leading story on the majority of websites and sports programming.
It’s right, it’s not fair. It’s a reality. And the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL are positioning themselves for as unprecedented a season as MLB, NHL, and NBA combined.