Several players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the offseason, but players aren't the only ones affected by the virus in the lead-up to training camp. The Arizona Cardinals announced Friday that team owner Michael Bidwill was hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. Bidwill, 55, had been traveling and spending time on the East Coast for several weeks, the team said, and is believed to have contracted the virus there.
On Sunday, the team announced Bidwill had been released from the hospital.
"This week I learned first-hand just how serious COVID-19 is," Bidwill said in a statement released by the team. "My immense appreciation for all those on the front lines of this pandemic has only increased and I am particularly grateful to the tremendous nurses and doctors at Newport (R.I.) Hospital. ... I'm very fortunate to have this experience behind me and strongly encourage everyone to continue practicing the important measures to avoid it themselves."
Like most of the rest of the team, Bidwill has been working remotely and reportedly has not had any in-person contact with other staff, coaches or players in the Cardinals organization.
Bidwill is the first known member of the NFL to be hospitalized for COVID-19, per ProFootballTalk, but seemingly dozens of others have reportedly already tested positive for the virus in the wake of unofficial offseason workouts. NFLPA president J.C. Tretter has also suggested NFL players are at an increased risk for COVID-19 because of other factors.
The NFL and NFLPA are still engaged in talks to finalize parameters for restricting contact and/or specific activities throughout the 2020 season. Training camp is still scheduled to begin later this month, albeit with tweaked protocols.