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The NFL needs strict policies for COVID-19

I’m not an expert. I don’t purport to have all the answers. I know that a lot of difficult decisions are being made by a lot of people smarter than me.

But…

The NFL has a covid problem. If you don’t want to be here for this, stop reading now. I won’t be offended.

And I know that people have different opinions about this whole thing. I’m not here to tell you how you should think. I have my thoughts. I have expressed them on the MHR Radio Podcast, but one thing Ian and I talked about recently was exactly what Brandon McManus tweeted.

The NFL has to figure out some sort of league-wide policy. Broncos Country has already experienced the effects of what positive covid tests can have on a season. The Broncos essentially lost a bye week before playing the Patriots.

Not only that, but defensive coordinator Ed Donatell has been dealing with complications, and other coaches and players have tested positive in Denver. And the day after Thanksgiving, the Broncos closed the facility because of more positive tests.

The issue here is that the league has passed on taking any real responsibility. It has left protocols up to teams, but will hand out punishments if teams have covid outbreaks and they determine the people involved didn’t follow protocols.

It’s confusing, frustrating, and hard on players, coaches, and staff. If there were some sort of league-wide policy in place, it would make things simpler across the board.

Obviously, every case, every outbreak, and every situation will be a little different. However, the issues in Baltimore caused the Steelers-Ravens game to be postponed. Now a premier player in the league, Lamar Jackson, has tested positive.

The problem is huge in Baltimore, and while not having a league-wide protocol allows the NFL to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, it also leaves teams vulnerable to making bad decisions, or suffering from the actions of other teams.

We have praised the Broncos at times for having protocols that seem to be effective. Even with strict rules and guidelines, the Broncos have been forced to close the facility multiple times. It has had a major impact on the season and the team’s development.

It does not matter what opinion people have about the virus. What matters is that the NFL has made it so there is no uniformity around it. Teams, players, and staff are unsure of what they should do, or what outcomes will be. It causes confusion. It leaves the door open for outbreaks.

I’m all for recognizing that hard and fast rules can be unfair. I know that there probably is not a single answer to the problem. But when a team’s season is being affected because of what is happening in other cities, it’s time for the NFL to have some rigidity to its guidelines.

The goal is to get through the 2020 season and hope to be back to normal in 2021. The NFL could usher that along by creating strict guidelines to ensure the season continues.

And then maybe Broncos Country can enjoy a resurgence in 2021.

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