Well, we got 3 weeks of bliss before the reality of our situation came back to hit us. Funny cardboard cutouts in the stands, fan-cam, Andy Reid’s face fogging up. Covid gave us a fun and unique aesthetic that was honestly a bit refreshing while taking nothing away from the actual game being played. But that aesthetic was always just covering up the dark truth that this dangerous virus, and our inability to properly handle it, is still there.

As of this writing, 3 Titans players and 5 team personnel members have tested positive. The Titans have shut down in-person operations for the week. The team they just played on Sunday, the Vikings, have also shut down in-person operations, despite no positives yet. We’ve seen the NFL able to sufficiently operate under these pandemic limiting conditions, but now the real test hits. How they respond to this small outbreak is going to be the litmus test for how football makes it the rest of the season.

Of course, it must be stated that the possibility exists for these tests to be false positives. There was already a large false positive scare before the season started. The teams are still using the quick result but questionable accuracy tests for most daily testing. The teams involved are now doing the longer, more accurate tests.

Assuming the tests are confirmed positives, what happens now? Do the Titans play the Steelers on Sunday? I can’t imagine the Steelers are thrilled about this. If more Titans players come back positive, do they swap bye weeks? If the Vikings also start to return positives, what happens then? Best case scenario here is that no one tests positive past this, the infected players are properly quarantined, and the games go on with no transmission. Worst case is pretty self explanatory.

I think I’m far from alone in expecting the games to continue barring a catastrophic outbreak between now and Sunday. I don’t foresee any change to the schedule unless things get much worse. The NFL has proven time and time again to be focused on the money first and foremost. Disregarding player health for the game is practically baked into the very sport itself. That desire to secure the cash as top priority and damn the consequences has always been the root of most of my fears, and I’d imagine the root of the fears of any of you like myself who are taking this virus seriously. What damage is going to be done before the league finally takes appropriate steps? College football is coming back even as college infection rates have skyrocketed. I can’t imagine what consequences that will have to families we won’t even hear about because at over 200k deaths, we’re desensitized. This is just life now.

I want football to keep going. Against all my worst fears the first few weeks of the season gave me hope that it was going to be okay. I was all-in on just enjoying some football again. I was never rooting for the virus as dumb media pundits like to vomit out, I wanted things to work out. I hope this is a tiny infection and everything goes well and we go back to our new normal of football. I really do. Things are still headed into a pit and that small escape has really helped.

Yes, I know my team is complete ass, it’s still been nice to watch other teams play competent sports.