Quarantining key NFL players including QBs during coronavirus? Panthers have discussed it

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

The smartest of NFL teams have presumably already been figuring out ways to minimize disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are bigger concerns in the world, but football coaches’ jobs are to win games.

The NFL has already said it expects positive tests, and obviously the virus can spread fast. We’ve seen that with a few college football programs already.

In football terms, one obvious concern is what happens if there’s an outbreak among a team’s quarterbacks. There are only three quarterbacks on most teams, they all spend most of the work week together, and if all three test positive and have to be quarantined that means the team would have to sign someone to start on Sunday.

The Carolina Panthers are already thinking it through.

Matt Rhule: Panthers have talked about quarantining players

New Panthers coach Matt Rhule said discussions about quarantining certain players, particularly quarterbacks, happened with owner David Tepper a while ago.

Rhule apparently didn’t say if he would adopt that plan, but it’s fair to assume other teams have thought about measures like it.

We saw the Philadelphia Eagles take quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round and then someone leaked that the pick was made, in part, as insurance in case the coronavirus hit the team. We all know the importance of quarterbacks to each NFL team, and losing a starter or especially multiple quarterbacks to an outbreak would be costly on the field. Again, there are more important things, but coaches have to consider the football side of things, too.

Perhaps the teams that figure out the best way to keep their main guys healthy will have an edge.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule is still hopeful training camps start on time. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Panthers coach Matt Rhule is still hopeful training camps start on time. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Rhule expecting training camp to start on time

Rhule said he expects camps to start on time in late July but is prepared to adjust if needed.

After New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN on Thursday that he is concerned about playing until the risk of the coronavirus is eliminated, Rhule said he would support any players who opt out of playing.

There will be many things to figure out, from a league and team level. The best teams are likely working through all the unusual scenarios already.

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