Sports | August 7, 2020 12:12 pm

NFL Coach Thinks 2020 Season Will Lead to COVID-19 Deaths

The unnamed head coach thinks at least one person working for the NFL will die

The official NFL logo on the back of a hat in LA. (Chris DELMAS / AFP via Getty)
The official NFL logo on the back of a hat in LA. (Chris DELMAS / AFP via Getty)
AFP via Getty Images

An unnamed NFL head coach told ProFootballTalk that, after speaking with various doctors who are not connected to pro football, he has concluded at least one player, coach or team staff member will die from COVID-19 during the 2020 NFL season.

The coach’s conclusion, according to PFT, is based on the number of players, coaches and staffers who are needed to make the season work combined with the prevalence of the coronavirus in the U.S.

“The sheer size of football operations and the extent of the national outbreak point to, eventually, the death of someone employed by an NFL team,” according to PFT’s story.

From July 21 through Wednesday, only 56 players tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the opening of training camps, according to the NFL Players Association. That figure represents about two percent of the approximately 2,600 players on training camp rosters for the 32 NFL teams.

The relatively low amount of positive tests across the league did not convince a handful of players that playing football in 2020 is safe and 67 exercised their right to opt-out of the season before the league’s Thursday deadline.

Of the players that opted out, almost half (21 offensive and 11 defensive) were linemen. As many linemen are technically classified as obese and are therefore more at risk of contracting COVID-19 by default, it seems logical that disproportionately more of them would decide not to play in 2020.

Twenty-nine teams had players opt out, with only the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers experiencing no defections. The Patriots had the most opt-outs with eight, followed by the Cleveland Browns with five.

Players with a high-risk designation that opted out receive a $350,000 stipend and those who voluntarily opted out and have not been deemed high-risk will receive a $150,000 salary advance that they are required to pay back next year, regardless of whether they make an NFL roster or not.

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