Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
It was only a matter of time until the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the NFL’s hands as it came to its schedule.
This past week, numerous players and team personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, which left several teams without key starters or rotation players ahead of their Week 15 matchups. In order to give teams and their players and opportunity to return, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to postpone games into early next week.
The Los Angeles Rams were scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday but will now play on Tuesday as the Rams currently have 25 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff credited the league and union for their flexibility with this weekend’s games, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“I think the union deserves a ton of credit here, too. “Our players, coaches, everybody kind of chipped in to try to get the best understanding of, ‘Could the game be played safely on Sunday?’ That was always the first question,” Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff told reporters during a video conference Friday. “I think that was everybody’s goal. And then once it became clear that it probably couldn’t be played safely on Sunday, what were the alternatives? And obviously, it’s not just us, right? It affects the Seattle Seahawks. I’m grateful to them for their communication throughout the week with the league and their ability to move. Clearly you have Cleveland and Washington in very similar situations as us, so then you add Philadelphia and Las Vegas in the same discussions. And then you have a whole host of teams that play next, every schedule change has a domino effect on all 32 teams at some point. And so balancing that, really going through (Chief Medical Officer) Dr. (Allen) Sills with the NFL, (who) did an amazing job communicating with (Rams Vice President, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie Scott and our team, not only about what our players are going through, but what we could expect to see in the coming days. I think it was an effort by all to adapt to what has been a rapidly-changing situation.”
While the Rams have unfortunately seen an outbreak occur within the team, Demoff did mention that the team will look to try and practice with the players expected to be available:
“Thankfully, we can be outside. We have looked at reactivating – obviously, the NFL is now in last year’s protocols through this weekend,” Demoff said. “We have the tent still up, we can revert quickly back to the outdoor weight room, to the outdoor tents, to do some of those things. But I think the goal would be, get the game plan in, get as many guys to practice, but I also think the coaching staff wants to try to practice with the guys they think will play. And so if there’s a chance to do that, be that Sunday, tomorrow, on my hunches, we’ll go that route.”
It is a concerning situation as teams jostle for playoff positioning, so hopefully the extra time off helps the Rams and the other teams still in the hunt.
Unless something changes, the Rams will be without key players like Odell Beckham Jr., Von Miller, Darrell Henderson, Rob Havenstein and Tyler Higbee when they take the field.
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