Viral Disorders Reach 49 and Broncos as NFL Crisis Grows

After scouring and weaving around the coronavirus epidemic for much of the fall, the NFL is nearing the end of its third quarter in the face of crises from shore-to-shore troops.

On Saturday, Santa Clara County health officials stirred up the San Francisco 49ers season when they temporarily banned all contact sports at the high school, college and professional levels and quarantined travelers from more than 150 miles into the region. on Monday at 12:01 p.m. The order would be valid until at least Dec. 21 and would apply to Stanford and San Jose State College football teams, as well as the NHL San Jose Sharks, among others.

In Baltimore, six more Ravens members tested the virus positively as the epidemic that erupted in the team’s locker room expanded to 18 players, including team star defender Lamar Jackson.

And in Denver, the Broncos appear to have run out of defenders since Blake Bortles, Drew Lock and Brett Rypien were forced into quarantine after coming into contact with a fourth quarterback, Jeff Driskel, who showed a positive virus on Thursday. a person familiar with the situation who spoke anonymously because the team did not provide details. All four players are unfit to play on Sunday when the Broncos meet the New Orleans Saints team, and at this point Denver’s position is extremely limited because the league’s virus rules preclude bringing in a player who was not quarantined before joining. . a team.

For most of the season, the NFL had a single full outbreak when two dozen players and other staff gave a positive result at the Tennessee Titans. The tournament overcame the crisis by postponing a handful of games and moving a few others. But the teams mostly exhausted their farewell weeks and made it harder to juggle game dates this season.

The Ravens eruption prompted the league to reschedule its match against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Thursday to Sunday and then until next Tuesday. The game is scheduled for Tuesday despite an increase in positive cases.

If any game, including the Ravens-Steelers match, fails to fit into the league’s existing calendar, the NFL must record an 18th week in the regular season and postpone the start of the playoffs.

Doctors at the league said they expect an increase in the number of positive cases in line with the infections that are booming across the country. On Friday, the NFL told all teams to cancel their personal practice on Monday and Tuesday as some players and staff celebrated Thanksgiving with their families and friends.

The 49s face increasingly pressing problems. The decision by local health officials could force the team to move at least two home matches next month and leave its training ground in Santa Clara.

“We run the risk that if current trends continue, we may soon exceed our hospital capacity,” said Dr. Sara Cody, a Santa Clara County health official who added that the number of patients hospitalized in the county with Covid-19 has doubled. in the past weeks.

The 49, who are due to play Rams in Los Angeles on Sunday, must be able to return to Santa Clara County before the quarantine takes effect. But it is not clear where and when they will go next.

“We are aware of the emergency guidelines of the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health,” said Bob Lange, a 49ers team spokesman. “We will work with the NFL and our partners to develop operational plans and we will share the details as they are confirmed.”