Denver Broncos pass rusher Von Miller became the second NFL player reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this offseason. , Miller recently spoke with Kent Babb of the Washington Post to detail what it was like to battle the pandemic that has spread around the world.
Miller said he is not usually a person who contracts colds throughout the year, and he never expected that he was going to have to deal with the coronavirus.
"I started to get a cough, but I rarely ever get sick, so I really didn't think about it being the coronavirus," Miller said. "I thought I just had a cold. I was still coughing when I was making my protein shake, and my assistant told me, 'Why don't you just go get tested? The Broncos, they got free tests; it's right down the street.' Two days later they tell me I had the coronavirus."
Miller said he has asthma, which has been known to make it tougher for those who contract COVID-19. The eight-time Pro Bowler said that easily the worst part about the virus was struggling to breathe normally. Even his normal asthma medication was not helping him like he thought it would.
"Not being able to breathe," Miller responded when asked what the worst part of the ordeal was. "I got asthma, but it was past the asthma attack -- like my lungs were constricting. My asthma nebulizer helped, but it still didn't feel like it was supposed to. That was the most frightening part. Just going to sleep knowing that my oxygen level could drop and I could wake up and have to go to the hospital.
"You can't really taste. You can't really smell. That in turn kind of messes with your appetite, so you're not really eating like you're supposed to. The first four, five days I was honestly nervous. I wouldn't say that I thought I was going to die or anything like that, but it did cross my mind a little bit."
The NFL's offseason has gone on as planned for the most part. Even though physicals have stopped and the 2020 NFL Draft was 100 percent virtual, the league released its regular-season schedule as promised and is hoping that football can be played in the coming months. Miller was asked what he would do concerning the upcoming season if he was the NFL's commissioner.
"If I was Commissioner Miller, I would take notes from the other leagues that are starting up before us," said Miller. "We got soccer coming up in Europe, and they're going to do mass testing. That's what we have to do. Every day we need to test all the players. It's got to be part of the routine.
"If one person gets this and it goes undetected, then that's eight. Let's say [Broncos wide receiver] Courtland Sutton gets tackled and he has the virus. Now you got the other team; they have the virus. I want to make sure all the players and all the staff and everybody coaching and everybody in the front office gets tested every day.
"Also, if a stadium holds 65,000 people, they might cut it down to about 16,000 people and [spread people] out across the stadium. Everybody is going to have spaces to watch the game. Then you can get some of the real-life feel back, the real-life football back."
Recently, it was reported that the Miami Dolphins were planning to play football and this upcoming season. During a segment on ABC's "Good Morning America," Victor Oquendo reported that the Dolphins were making game-day changes that would incorporate social distancing. Entrances would have social-distancing guidelines, fans would be spread out and there would even be a detailed exit strategy.
No one knows what the world is going to look like in the next couple of months, but as someone who has dealt with the virus, Miller's advance likely carries plenty of weight.