The parade of positive COVID-19 tests results has desensitized most football fans. Every once in a while, however, a big-name player gets it.
The latest is Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Per NFL Media, he has tested positive, and he will miss Sunday’s game at New England.
The question now becomes whether other players were in sufficiently close contact to land on the COVID-19 reserve list, or whether they will also test positive. If, for example, the Cardinals don’t have Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins for Sunday’s game, that would make it much harder to beat the Patriots.
And, yes, the game will proceed even if Hopkins or Murray aren’t available — unless the Cardinals end up with the same kind of uncontained outbreak that bumped Ravens-Steelers from Thursday to Sunday. Once the league knows that a situation is under control, “next man up” applies. And it applies regardless of whether the next man down is the best player on the team.