The NFL took a lot of precautions, but they couldn’t defeat COVID-19.
The outbreak in Tennessee caused their game against Pittsburgh to be postponed until later in the season, and the Pats-Chiefs game will be postponed at least a day or two because Cam Newton and a Chiefs practice squad player tested positive. If more players on either team test positive, it could be moved until later in the season.
This is probably not the last time this will happen and may mean the NFL will have problems playing an entire schedule. One suggestion is that the players be isolated in hotels like in camp the rest of the season, but the players aren’t likely to agree to that.
—The postponement of the Pats-Chiefs game means CBS had to switch the Bears-Colts to the Sunday afternoon late game slot and that game is nowhere near as attractive as the Pats-Chiefs game.
—The biggest loser in all this through no fault of their own is Pittsburgh, which will lose its normal bye week and won’t get a week off the rest of the season starting next week because of the outbreak in Tennessee.
—Detroit, which broke an 11-game losing streak, is not expected to win two in a row. They face a motivated New Orleans team that is trying to get back on track after a slow start.
—Dallas and Philadelphia, two of the most disappointing teams in the league, have no margin for error as the Cowboys face the Browns and the Eagles take on San Francisco. The only thing they have going for them is they play in the same division with the Giants and Redskins so one of them will make the playoffs. The Eagles-49ers game will be the Sunday night prime time game and doesn’t figure to get good ratings even though they both play in big markets.The Monday night game isn’t much better with Green Bay heavily favored against an Atlanta team that seems to specialize in blowing leads.
—One game that won’t get much TV coverage but is an interesting matchup of two young quarterbacks when Jacksonville goes to Cincinnati. Gardner Minshew, coming off a poor game last week, is in his second season trying to prove he is the long-range answer after being drafted on the sixth round a year ago, faces Joe Burrow, the top pick in the draft who has looked good at times, but plays for a bad Cincinnati team that is 0-2-1. Neither team is a contender but their quarterbacks will be under the microscope all year.