72 NFL players reportedly test positive for COVID-19

The number of players represents approximately 2.5% of the league

NFL star Ezekiel Elliott is the first known NFL player to test positive for COViD-19 thegrio.com
Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

As the NFL gears up for the beginning of its pre-season at the end of the month, concerns about the coronavirus are dominating the conversation. Prominent players like Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., New England Patriots’ quarterback Cam Newton, New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins and Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram have all publicly questioned whether the season should go on.

Read More: Malcolm Jenkins isn’t sure the NFL should play this season

Today’s news may make those conversations more urgent as ESPN reports that 72 NFL players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The NFL Players Association released the information on its website, which also provided information on the highest surge of cases in NFL cities.

Miami, unsurprisingly, as Florida leads the nation in new COVID-19 cases, is #1 on that list followed by Los Angeles, Arizona and Dallas.

Read More: Cam Newton, Todd Gurley and Odell Beckham, Jr. talk COVID, football and BLM

As the coronavirus surged in Florida, Tampa Bay, the new home of 6-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady announced weeks ago that they’d had a number of positive COVID-19 tests.

“We immediately activated our COVID-19 Response Plan and vacated the affected areas, which will remain closed until extensive sanitation is completed,” the team said in a statement. “The individuals who may have been exposed have already been notified and are following the established protocols, which include a 14-day quarantine period.”

Read More: Mark Ingram Jr. on NFL’s return: ‘We need to find the safest way’

Dallas Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliot was the first NFL player announced to have tested positive. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton announced a few months ago that he had contracted the virus. Both have since recovered and haven’t reported any lasting effects.

72 NFL players test positive for coronavirus thegrio.com
The NFL logo (Getty Images)

NBA training camps are still slated to open on July 28. The NBA, which the league may use as a test case scenario for the football season, will resume its truncated season on July 30th. Players from 22 teams have been isolated inside a ‘bubble,’ at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida, with a 133-page report on COVID-19 protocols.

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