The Vikings announced that their head athletic trainer, Eric Sugarman, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Sugarman was heading up the Vikings’ efforts to get their facility set up so that players could work safely with as little risk of exposure as possible, but Sugarman himself was somehow exposed, as was his family.
“I have an immense amount of pride in the effort I have personally put forth to protect the NFL family, the Minnesota Vikings organization and our community with thoughtfulness and decision-making based on the current science over these last four months,” Sugarman said in a statement. “I am humble to be serving in that capacity as it has been some of the most rewarding work of my career. But as I sit here in quarantine, it is clear this virus does not discriminate. It should continue to be taken seriously. I encourage people to take the necessary precautions and follow guidelines that have been established nationally and locally.”
Sugarman is well regarded in NFL circles and surely aware of all the recommended precautions for avoiding the virus, but sometimes catching it is unavoidable. And for the NFL to play its season successfully, not only will players have to stay safe and healthy, but team staff members will as well. That won’t be easy.