The Jets introduced on Friday morning that certainly one of their gamers had examined optimistic for the coronavirus, sending a brand new shudder by means of the N.F.L., which is dealing with an outbreak that has affected at the least three groups in current weeks. However within the night, the workforce stated that the consequence was a false optimistic and that everybody on the workforce had examined adverse, clearing the best way for the Jets to play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, as deliberate.
The conflicting outcomes have been a reminder of how tough it has been for the league to navigate its season throughout a pandemic. As if taking part in the sport Whack-a-Mole, the league has needed to handle points popping up on and off the sector throughout the nation, together with gamers’ and coaches’ ignoring security protocols.
On Friday, the league felt compelled to remind groups that gamers and coaches would now face a 15-yard penalty in the event that they approached a sport official with out sporting a masks.
After the false optimistic take a look at, the Jets known as off the workforce’s exercise, and stated that every one gamers had been despatched house from the workforce’s New Jersey coaching facility as a precaution. For many of Friday, the optimistic consequence threw into query whether or not the Jets would be capable to play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and created a brand new headache for the N.F.L., which is already scrambling to regulate for outbreaks on two different groups.
Constructive checks on the Patriots, Titans and different groups have deepened the problem the league faces because it tries to finish a full schedule of video games. On Thursday, the league postponed two extra video games, the newest in a sequence of cascading readjustments to its sophisticated matrix of a schedule within the wake of virus outbreaks involving the Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots.
On the similar time, the league is transferring to tighten its oversight of groups, and threatening to punish organizations that don’t abide by evolving virus protocols. The reminder to groups warning of penalties if their gamers and coaches strategy referees got here after the N.F.L. stated it could use video surveillance to make sure that workforce workers have been sporting correct protecting tools at workforce amenities.
The league is also investigating whether or not the Titans violated league guidelines by understanding after the membership’s facility was closed due to the outbreak within the locker room. If the workforce is discovered to be in violation, it may face penalties, together with fines and the lack of draft picks. Tennessee may even be pressured to forfeit a sport.
On Thursday, the league introduced that the Titans — who’ve had the league’s worst outbreak, with practically two dozen gamers, coaches and workers members testing optimistic — would play the Buffalo Payments on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Jap, as a substitute of on Sunday. However even that plan was contingent on the workforce’s not reporting any new positives. The Titans reported two further optimistic checks of their group on Thursday.
If Tennessee and Buffalo play on Tuesday, the Payments’ subsequent sport, towards the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, can be moved again three days from Thursday, Oct. 15.
The league had already postponed the Titans’ sport towards the Pittsburgh Steelers, scheduled for this previous Sunday, by three weeks due to the Titans’ outbreak.
The league additionally on Thursday moved the Patriots-Denver Broncos sport, scheduled for Sunday, to five p.m. Jap on Monday, after Stephon Gilmore, New England’s star cornerback, was reported to have examined optimistic.
Final week, the Patriots’ Sunday sport was moved to Monday as a result of the workforce’s quarterback, Cam Newton, had examined optimistic.
In contrast to the N.B.A., the W.N.B.A. and a number of other different leagues, the N.F.L. — which had a lot larger rosters and training staffs than most leagues — selected to not resume its season in a restricted atmosphere just like the so-called bubbles utilized in basketball.
As a substitute, protocols have been put in place to implement bodily distancing and different security measures whereas the gamers and the workforce’s workers members have been collectively. However on the finish of every day, all workforce personnel are allowed to return house, rising their probabilities of being uncovered to the virus.
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