COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the NFL as the new mandate goes into effect. All 32 teams are being placed in intensive COVID-19 protocols until after Week 15. Since the start of Week 14, cases of the virus among league personnel have increased significantly and are still not contained.
Jaguars Fire Urban Meyer
After many recent scandals, the Jacksonville Jaguars have fired head coach Urban Meyer. The head coach was in his first season and has undergone a lot of scrutiny recently due to scandals that have surfaced regarding the coach’s erratic behavior on several occasions.
This, along with their poor play this season, was instrumental in leading to Jacksonville to make a change just 13 games after hiring Meyer. As a college coach for over 20 years, he won three National Championships with Florida and Ohio State. Still, after this disastrous season, he probably won’t ever get another chance to be an NFL coach.
Sean Payton Tests Positive Again For COVID-19
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has tested positive for COVID-19. Although he was fully vaccinated, this is the second time he has had a positive test. Dennis Allen, the defensive coordinator, will take over the head coaching duties against the Buccaneers, with Payton not on the sidelines. He was the person with the first confirmed case in the NFL back in March of 2020.
There have been more than 100 positive tests in the league this week. The newest significant player to test positive is Taylor Heinicke, QB for the Washington Football Team. In Cleveland, twenty-one players and coaches have tested positive for the virus. The Rams now have a total of 25 players and staff affected.
Josh Allen to Make His Next Start Against The Panthers
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen will make the start on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers after injuring his foot against Tampa Bay in his last game. Allen is hoping to get the Bills back on track after starting the season as one of the favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. This season, he has thrown for 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The Bills have now fallen to 7-6 on the season and could not afford for Allen to miss any more games if they still want to make it to the playoffs. They need him in the lineup against the 5-8 Panthers as they get ready to face the AFC-leading New England Patriots the following week.
Big Ben Hopes to Lead Steelers to Playoffs
Ben Roethlisberger may be playing his last season in the NFL. He’s hoping the 6-61 Steelers can step and make a run in the playoffs. He was sacked five times in his last game against the Vikings but brought his team back from a big deficit to almost pull off a win. With the way he’s been throwing the ball lately, he may decide to make one more run at it if the Steelers can’t make it to their goal this season. He must stay healthy though as he will have to depend on a defensive line that hasn’t been protecting him too well this season. They have a big game coming up against Tennessee, which could decide the final fate of their season.
The NFL has a COVID-19 problem it’s trying to contain. The new rules reimpose mandatory masks in all team facilities and social distancing, grab-and-go meal service in the cafeterias, all-virtual meetings, a limit on the number of people allowed in rooms, and restrictions on outside activities. The mandate also makes it easier for players who are vaccinated and asymptomatic to return to practice and games sooner.