It’s the fulcrum of the NFL’s 17-week season, and Week Nine’s dozen Sunday games are good to go.
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that it’s “[a]ll clear on all tests this morning.” That creates a green light for the games to be played.
The fact that the NFL will, through nine Sundays, have played all games that were due to be played (with some major surgery to the scheduling) shows that the league’s protocols have worked. Has it required a little luck? Yes it has. Has it required the periodic punishment of non-complying teams. Absolutely.
But it has worked, so far.
It will get no easier. Look at the numbers. The virus keeps spreading, reaching record levels this week. With players and coaches and essential staff members leaving team facilities every day and returning to their homes and communities, the chances for an infection become greater than ever.
Although the league’s protocols may periodically create an unfair result for a given team, the greater good entails playing the games — for plenty of reasons, including getting the teams and players paid. And if teams want to avoid having players knocked out for practices or games, it becomes more important than ever to follow all protocols in the building, and to tell them what needs to be done when they’re not in the building.
Go home. Stay home. Stay away from family members who leave the house or otherwise interact with people who may have the virus.
It may be hard to do, but it’s not hard to know what to do. The teams that do it the best could be the teams that play the deepest into January.