NFL Owner Hospitalized with COVID-19


Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwell prior to an NFL game in October 2019.

According to a report in the Arizona Republic, Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell, 55, is hospitalized in Rhode Island with COVID-19.

The newspaper reports that Bidwell had been traveling in the eastern U.S. for the past several weeks, where he is believed to have contracted the coronavirus. Earlier this week, Bidwell began suffering from a fever and headache and tested positive. A physician recommended that he admit himself to the hospital so his symptoms could be monitored.

According to the Cardinals, Bidwell’s symptoms have now subsided and he is expected to be released from the hospital over the weekend. The team has taken care to note that Bidwell has been working remotely since March, and that he hasn’t had in-person contact with any of the team’s coaches, players or football staff.

Arizona a Hot Spot for Coronavirus

Meanwhile, Bidwell’s home state of Arizona has become one of the nation’s COVID-19 hot spots.

Per the Arizona Republic, the state of Arizona reported 4,221 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, raising the number of “identified cases” to 116,892, with the number of known deaths in the state rising to 2,082, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Moreover, “ICU beds and ventilators in use by suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients both hit new records on Thursday, according to hospital data reported by the state,” said the newspaper.

Health officials in Arizona have advised people to stay home if at all possible, and to wear masks whenever in public.

In Maricopa County, where the Arizona Cardinals are based, the county medical examiner’s office is reportedly at ninety-six percent of capacity, and the Maricopa County Unified Command Center is said to be “working to secure a contract for refrigerated trucks.”

Arizona Cardinals: Founding Donor of the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund

Notably, Bidwell’s team has been at the forefront of coronavirus relief efforts in Arizona.

In March, the Cardinals made a $1 million founding donation to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund, which provides financial support to multiple organizations that are working to address the coronavirus outbreak in the state. The money has been used to purchase personal protective equipment for medical personnel, and for supporting non-profits that aid food banks and homeless shelters. Funds have also been utilized to provide technology needed for online learning.

At the moment, the Cardinals and the 31 other teams in the NFL are working to finalize health and safety protocols so that all clubs can open their training camps at the end of this month. The NFL regular season is scheduled to get underway on Thursday Sept. 10 with a game between the Houston Texans and Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Arizona expects to kick off its regular season on Sunday Sept. 13 with a road game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. The Cardinals’ home opener is scheduled for a week later, with a game against the Washington Redskins at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

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