With less than two weeks to go until NFL teams are scheduled to start training camp, the NFL Player's Association has revealed the exact number of players that have tested positive for coronavirus this offseason.
According to the numbers from the NFLPA, a total of 72 players have tested positive through July 10. One thing that's not clear is how many teams have had to deal with a positive test. So far this offseason, at least seven teams have been identified as dealing with a positive test, including the Cowboys, Broncos, Steelers, Texans, 49ers, Buccaneers and Rams. Some of the biggest names that have tested positive include Ezekiel Elliott and Von Miller. Saints coach Sean Payton also tested positive this offseason, but obviously, he wouldn't be included in the total player count since he's not a player.
With training camp right around the corner, the fact that the NFLPA has released the total coronavirus number could be viewed as somewhat notable, and that's because the Player's Association still hasn't come to an agreement with the NFL on what testing protocols will look like once camp starts. According to ESPN.com, the NFLPA wants players to be tested daily while the NFL would prefer to see players tested every other day.
Unless the NFL plans on delaying the July 28 start of training camp, that's an issue that's going to have ironed out in the very near future. The NFL's 32 owners are scheduled to have a teleconference on Friday where they will likely be discussing the NFLPA's proposals and demands. Besides daily testing, the NFLPA also wants to see the league cancel all preseason games this year.
The Player's Association also wants to know how many positive tests would eventually lead the NFL to shutdown and cancel the season. On top of that, the NFLPA also wants players to have the option to sit out the season, which is something the NFL is reportedly planning to allow (You can read more about the NFLPA's demands by clicking here).
One other issue facing the league is that some teams are located in coronavirus hotspots that other teams don't have to deal with. According to the NFLPA's information, the Dolphins are currently located in the worst hotspot among NFL cities, while the Patriots are in a spot that hasn't really been hit.
Teams located in hotspot cities could eventually ask to move their training to a site that would potentially be more safe.
Although there are still a lot of unanswered questions for the 2020 season, the good news for the both the NFL and NFLPA is that there hasn't been a full-fledged COVID-19 outbreak among players. The NFL would obviously prefer to have zero players testing positive, but 72 is a manageable number and if the league can keep the positive rate at a manageable number, then there's a good chance we'll see the entire NFL season get played.