NFL’s top doctor: As long as the virus is endemic in our communities, we will have new cases

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The NFL’s top doctor says there’s no way to wipe out COVID-19 in the league until it’s wiped out in America.

In a statement from the NFL and NFL Players Association regarding the recent uptick in positive tests around the league, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said there’s no perfect solution.

“In the nine weeks since the beginning of training camp, we have had a number of isolated, new positive cases of COVID among players and other personnel across nearly two-thirds of NFL clubs and one outbreak among the Tennessee Titans,” Sills said. “We have said all along that we expect positive cases. As long as the virus is endemic in our communities, we will see new cases among our teams. Risk mitigation, not elimination, is the key. Our protocols are designed to quickly identify new cases, get individuals the care they need, and prevent further spread of the virus. It is critically important that we do not grow complacent in our rigorous application of measures proven to be impactful: always wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing and practicing healthy hand hygiene. This 2020 season, our common opponent is COVID – it’s all of us together versus the virus.”

NFLPA Medical Director Dr. Thom Mayer reminded everyone of the importance of following public safety guidance.

“The virus is still very much a threat not only to our season, but to the safety of everyone in our community,” Mayer said. “We encourage everyone to do their part to follow the protocols and keep each other safe.”​

The NFL has already had to postpone a Titans-Steelers game until later in the season, and a Patriots-Chiefs game by a day. It’s unclear whether all of Sunday’s games will be played as scheduled.