Philip Rivers Asks About A Nightmare Scenario Regarding Protocol For A Player Testing Positive For COVID Before Super Bowl

Colts QB Philip Rivers wonders what happens if an NFL player tests positive for COVID prior to the Super Bowl, which would be a nightmare scenario

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Future Hall of Fame quarterback Philip Rivers just posed a question to the NFL that would really cause an absolute nightmare for the league: What happens if, prior to the Super Bowl, a player tests positive for COVID-19? Given the magnitude of the Big Game, Rivers wondered during a recent league conference call what the protocol would be — and, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, the player would need to follow updated rules about isolating and missing the contest, unless he got two negative tests 24 hours apart.


Now, most of us might not want to address that elephant in the room, but, the fact of the matter is, it exists — and Philip Rivers was right in asking the question. If Rivers’ scenario were to happen, oh boy, it’d be a fucking shitstorm for the NFL to have to deal with.

Following the NFL’s response to the ongoing pandemic and how the league’s working to adapt, teams received protocols about how a player testing positive for COVID-19 would have to be treated. See Pelissero’s tweet below for an explanation.

Now, back to Philip Rivers’ question — and how the league would have to deal with it.

Let’s imagine this virus existed last NFL season, and, somehow, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tested positive two days prior to the Super Bowl 54 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers — forcing K.C. to start then backup signal-caller Matt Moore — would the league really force Mahomes to sit home alone to watch? According to protocol, absolutely.

While that’s the right thing to plan for, sheesh, how much of a disaster would that be? To even think about the possibility of taking Mahomes off the field in favor of Moore because of a positive COVID-19 test has to keep Commissioner Roger Goodell up at night. Of course, the alternative would be hiding (or delaying) the test results until after the contest in order for the former league MVP quarterback to play — but that’d be an even bigger issue if word ever leaked that the league pulled such a move.

With so much uncertainty regarding the NFL this upcoming season, Philip Rivers was just making sure the league has some semblance of a plan for all scenarios. And, while nobody wants to even think about the possibility of a player being forced to sit during the Super Bowl because of a positive COVID test, the fact that the league is on record as to how that would be handled means they have to stick by it — no matter how difficult it could be in the moment. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to see this be enforced and all runs smoothly.

(H/T Pro Football Talk)