TAYLOR COUNTY—As the NFL and the NFLPA continue to try to reach an agreement under which training camps may begin later this month and the regular season can begin in September, the union is attempting to make sure its members are kept up to date on the number of positive COVID-19 cases around the country.
According to the NFLPA database, 72 of the league’s players are known to have tested positive for the virus as of July 10th, which is a number difficult to assess because not every player in the league has been tested yet. In figuring out the math and estimating that there are 32 traditional 90-man training camp rosters, that would total a number of approximately 2,880 NFL players who have tested positive, and would equate to a 2.5% of the league’s players who have been infected.
This information was made public on the NFLPA’s website recently, and also provides insight on where exactly the virus has been spreading, including cities where camps are scheduled to begin later this month. The source, a “heat map” posted to the website, is based on a 14-day average of new positive tests and currently shows the city of Miami as the most rampant spot among the 32 NFL markets, with 4,164 average cases per day over the past two weeks.
On the opposite end of the statistics, the New England Patriots’ have the fewest positive tests over the past 14 days, followed by the New York Jets/New York Giants.
For the most part, the markets shown in orange are summer vacation destinations and accommodate thousands of tourists to those locations every summer.
The NFL and NFLPA have spent weeks negotiating the health and safety protocols which are specific to reopening camps during the current pandemic, as well extensively discussed issues such as the impact of potential 2020 lost revenue towards the 2021 salary cap. Several members of the NFLPA have stated that they would not agree to return until they can be convinced that all necessary safeguards have been implemented to keep them as safe as possible. The two sides also continue to barter over issues ranging anywhere from the frequency of testing to utilizing specialized face masks/guards/shields, as well as options to “opt out” for any player who is not comfortable playing during the pandemic or may have to take care of a family member who has been affected.
July 28th is the current scheduled date for teams to begin training camps, although due to the everchanging landscape of the COVID-19 situation, that is date is subject to change.