Coronavirus Strikes Buffalo Bills’ NFL Camp, Sends Rookies Home
The Buffalo Bills are scheduled to open their 2020 NFL season on Sunday, September 13th, at home against the New York Jets. The coronavirus may have other ideas.
Just nine days into the pre-season, the Bills have sent all of its rookie players home from training camp, according to a report from ESPN. Five Bills' players have tested positive for the virus since testing began July 21, the day they reported to the team's facility at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York.
A Bills spokesman told ESPN about their decision to send players back home, which was not required as part of the NFL's COVID-19 protocol:
We decided to take a disciplined, proactive and preventative approach to hopefully eliminate additional cases within our team.
The ongoing COVID-19 health crisis continues to cast a lot of doubts on the season, whose opening weekend is just six weeks away. The five players with positive test results:
- Dane Jackson, defensive back
- Siran Neal, defensive back
- Ike Brown, defensive back
- Duke Williams, wide receiver
- Vincent Taylor, defensive tackle
In other sports, Major League Baseball has had to suspend games as the result of a breakout within the Miami Marlins organization. Major League Soccer teams have bowed out of the league's ongoing tournament in Orlando. And various players in all pro sports have declared themselves out of action until 2021, due to fears about contracting the coronavirus and endangering family members.
Despite those concerns and a very conservative overall approach against the pandemic, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo this week reiterated his statement that any MLB teams needing a temporary home for games are invited to utilize Empire State stadiums. The Toronto Blue Jays are already using Buffalo's Sahlen Field for its home games.