The NFL may be chugging along with free agency right now, but most around the world are focused on how to stop the spread of COVID-19. Unlike the NBA or MLS, the NFL won’t likely have to suspend any games because they are far removed from the start of the regular season. Though, as the world learns more about coronavirus, things could change.
Not many athletes have tested positive to this point, but there have been some very notable ones who have. Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Quentin Poling could be among the first NFLers to test positive for coronavirus. He said on Twitter that he was on a recent trip to Spain, and he’s feeling many of the symptoms that have been associated with COVID-19.
While his doctor is “sure” his wife, daughter and he has coronavirus, they are refusing to test them because they aren’t “high risk.”
Poling was clearly displeased as he called out the Ohio Health Department for not testing him.
Poling Could Be NFL’s First Case of COVID-19
If Poling were to test positive, he would the NFL’s first confirmed case of coronavirus. Fortunately, there haven’t been any offseason activities, so it’s unlikely he’s come into contact with many other players.
Poling has bounced around the NFL since being drafted as a seventh-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2018. He came to the Raiders in 2019 and played in one game before getting waived. He spent the rest of last season on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad and after the season ended, he made his way back to the Raiders. Poling will have a chance to battle for a roster spot in training camp.
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Las Vegas Draft Canceled
The NFL Draft in April is still expected to take place without delay, but there will be changes in how the league goes about it. Instead of having a large event in Las Vegas, everything will be done from a broadcast booth. The Raiders had big plans to show off their new home city, but they’ll have to wait to do that now. Team owner Mark Davis released a statement on the matter:
After careful consideration, the Las Vegas Raiders, the NFL, the NFLPA and the LVCVA have decided to cancel the 2020 Las Vegas NFL Draft celebration. Health and safety has always been our top priority, so despite it being a major disappointment, this was the right decision. I would like to thank Governor Sisolak and the LVCVA for all of the passion they put into creating an event that would have been second to none. Although Las Vegas lost this chance to shine, there will be many more opportunities to show the world just what Las Vegas is made of. Whether it be the Draft, the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl, the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World is ready!
The draft in Las Vegas was supposed to have hundreds of thousands of attendees. Considering the circumstances, the NFL didn’t have much of a choice but to cancel the event.