With COVID-19 cases running rampant among NFL players and staff, the league stepped in and did something we had not really seen before, announcing today that they were postponing three games until later in the week.
Saturday’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cleveland Browns has been moved to Monday, while Sunday’s meetings between the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams have been moved to Tuesday.
“We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league,” the NFL announced in a statement .
“We continue to make decisions in consultation with medical experts to ensure the health and safety of the NFL community.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams explaining Friday’s changes to the schedule, stating that “The emergence of the Omicron variant is precisely the kind of change that warrants a flexible response.”
The NFL just sent this memo to clubs, explaining the emergence of the Omicron variant drove the “flexible response” with today’s game postponements and reiterating: “We will make every effort play to play our full schedule within the current 18 weeks.” pic.twitter.com/fB3P5R7ILZ
– Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 17, 2021
Given that Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Washington all have more than 20 players each on the reserve / COVID-19 list, it seems like the right thing to do to prevent an even more widespread outbreak.
Naturally, many are frustrated with this turn of events, like Eagles fans who feel like they’re losing the advantage they had going into Sunday’s game initially, as this gives Washington more time to recover physically. But like Goodell said, these kinds of things require a flexible response, whether you like it or not.