Amari Cooper on the rules against playing with COVID: Michael Jordan played with the flu

1997 NBA Finals Game Five: Chicago Bulls v Utah Jazz
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Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper missed a pair of key games after testing positive for COVID. He returned on Thursday night in the Dallas win over the Saints.

After the game, Cooper made it clear that he believes he could have played with COVID.

“It was tough,” Cooper told reporters. “[Michael] Jordan played with the flu. That’s how I looked at it. It was a restriction of not being able to play with what I had. It was tough, knowing that I could physically gone out there and played, but the restrictions didn’t allow me to do so.”

The restrictions didn’t allow him to do so because the current protocols, developed jointly by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, require an unvaccinated player who tests positive to exit the facility for at least 10 days. But Cooper raises a point that we’ve recently made, both on PFT Live and #PFTPM. At what point will the NFL decide to not prevent asymptomatic players who test positive from practicing and playing?

The virus transmits much more easily indoors. The NFL has believed from the outset of the pandemic that it’s extremely difficult if not impossible for a player to transfer enough virus to another player in an open-air setting, or in a dome with state-of-the-art ventilation driven by the possibility of an aerosolized terrorist attack.

At what point will the NFL allow players who test positive but who have no symptoms to play? At what point will the NFL allows players who test positive and who have symptoms to play?

Every year, players play with a cold. They play with the flu. They do it because the rules don’t prohibit it. When, then, will the NFL’s COVID protocols evolve to a similar point?

As one source with knowledge of the league’s overall handling of the pandemic explained it to PFT recently, the key becomes not vaccines but therapeutics. When a pill can be taken to treat and/or cure the virus once it’s inside the human body, the stakes of getting infected will plummet. That’s when the NFL will become less cautious about allowing infected personnel in the building, on the practice field, or in the stadium.

16 responses to “Amari Cooper on the rules against playing with COVID: Michael Jordan played with the flu

  1. Here we go with this “it’s the same as the flu” nonsense. COVID kills WAY more people than the flu does.

  2. They will allow +ve players to play when the pandemic is declared over by the WHO. When that will be is a more difficult question to answer.

  3. It’s funny he’s complaining how he could have played with covid but if he had been vaccinated he would have played an extra game anyways. Pretty obvious where his mindset is comparing it to the flu. It’s the optics for the nfl, what would the media say if a player with covid is playing? What if he spit at another player or something? The NFL would be torn apart by the media.

  4. Sar-Cov2 is not flu virus, virologically. Covid may eventually become as “mild” as flu (Omicon may be the key step). Get vaccinated, Mr. Cooper.

  5. I think we all know the NFL/NFLPA aren’t going to change course during this season. Once these antivirals finish their clinical trials, which I understand is supposed to be soon, the League and Union will get together in the offseason and come up with new protocols. Until then, they will ignore COVID as much as they can, just as they’ve been doing, until absolutely forced to pay attention.

  6. g odnollid16 says:
    December 3, 2021 at 12:00 pm
    It’s funny he’s complaining how he could have played with covid but if he had been vaccinated he would have played an extra game anyways. Pretty obvious where his mindset is comparing it to the flu. It’s the optics for the nfl, what would the media say if a player with covid is playing? What if he spit at another player or something? The NFL would be torn apart by the media

    —-

    It’s not optics. It’s that the NFL doesn’t want players infected with a deadly communicable disease in close proximity with healthy players. Pretty sure every sane company in America has a common sense rule about not coming in to work if you’ve tested positive in the past 10 or so days. The rule is to protect other players, coaches, refs, etc., not out of fear of some potential PR issue. And it’s a good rule that should only be changed when Covid stops killing people.

  7. But Pippen played with a slipped disc in his back. Now THAT is painful.

  8. Dunno what’s worse: comparing covid to the flu, or comparing himself to michael jordan.

  9. It’s tragic how many uninformed people there are in this country. They’ve intentionally tried to politicize and otherwise divide us. It’s time to step up and fight for this country, and her citizens, and fight this disinformation and division.

    STOP GETTING HEALTH ADVISE FROM POLITICAL SITES!!!

  10. Just what I needed..to vent. My wife has had the flu 2 years ago. she’s recovering from Covid right now. There was fear, restless nights..worry about her, our child.

    People will have different experiences. Hope we never have to deal with Covid again.

    F – Amari Cooper. He can go to hell. With the flu.

  11. Cooper has always been one of those talented guys who just doesn’t love football. It’s not like he’s the only one. It’s hard to win if you have too many guys like that on your team. They’re only there for themselves. The heck with his teammates and coaches. He’ll walk away with $100 million and never have to work. He did alright.

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