NHL, NBA wrestle with Omicron outbreak

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The various sports leagues are handling the ongoing outbreak of the Omicron variant in various ways.

With the NFL dramatically reducing its testing protocols of vaccinated players (and, in turn, accepting the reality that positive players will be practicing and playing in games), other sports leagues are taking different approaches.

The NHL has decided to shut down from Wednesday through Saturday. Players will return on Sunday, and daily testing will resume. Games will begin again on Monday, December 27. The NHL also will not be sending its player to the Winter Olympics, due to ongoing pandemic concerns.

The NBA, in contrast, has no plans to pause the season. On Monday, however, the league informed teams that it can sign new players to replace those who test positive for COVID. The NBA also has postponed five games over the past three days.

The NFL has opted to trudge forward, hopeful that reduced testing will result in reduced positives and, thus, reduced threats to the playing of games. Whether that works remains to be seen; with testing of players who have symptoms and/or who are in close contact with those who test positive (along with ongoing daily testing of unvaccinated players), the positives could still overwhelm the protocol.

The only good news for the NFL is that, after players have it, they return for 90 days with no further absences. That’s enough to get through the balance of the season and the playoffs.

For now, that’s all the NFL is trying to do. Get through the season. Then, it will be time to figure out a plan for 2022.

2 responses to “NHL, NBA wrestle with Omicron outbreak

  1. Meanwhile, the NFL is putting its fingers in its ears and humming that everything is fine fine fine!

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