The NFLPA announced on its website that 72 players had tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 10. It’s unclear how many players have taken COVID-19 tests, but few of the positive players are known.
Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth announced on an NFLPA conference call Friday that he was one.
Whitworth shared his story in hopes of showing how quickly the virus can spread and how it “innocently” can be passed on to older, higher-risk individuals.
“I think for us to really identify when we say you’re going to have to make safe decisions, and you’re going to have to be safe outside the building, we’re talking about things as simple as going to lunch with someone,” Whitworth said. “All it takes is one exposure. That’s the reality. My story is an example of that. We had a family member that simply just went to lunch with a friend as innocent as it can be. A couple of days later we were traveling all together, and she started not feeling well and decided to go get a test. The next thing we know she had it. A couple of days later, my wife and I had it. A couple of days after that, our kids had it. So we were about seven for seven at that point, and unfortunately, we had just visited my wife’s family and were traveling with them as well and her mom and dad both got it.”
Whitworth’s father-in-law needed hospitalization, leaving Whitworth and the rest of the family shaken for a few days.
“We got him home four or five days ago, and he’s home now,” Whitworth said. “We’re very blessed to have him and him be OK. But it was definitely a scary thing and a realization of how contagious this really is. It doesn’t take much, and it can spread like wildfire.
“For us, it affected us personally. It was scary. For our family and our kids, we ended up OK, and everything seemed to go pretty normal, a pretty mild case. But for her parents, it wasn’t that way.”
That’s the reality for everyone saying, “Football players are young and healthy, and they’ll be fine if they catch it.” Without a bubble for the NFL, it’s everyone the player comes in contact.