Covid-19 again attacks NBA and risks closure of NFL

Although there are still no records that the Omicron variant has been unleashed in sport, the ravages continue due to the high number of

Although there are still no records that the Omicron variant has been unleashed in sport, the ravages continue due to the high number of Covid-19 infections in elite leagues, causing more and more postponements of games even where it had not occurred.

During the weekend, the NBA He decided to suspend a total of five games due to the impact of infections, which has reduced the squads of various teams. The postponements correspond to three on Sunday, in the duels between the Atlanta Hawks-Cleveland Cavaliers, the Brooklyn Nets against the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Similarly, one on Monday between the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic was suspended, as well as the one on Tuesday between the Nets and Washington Wizards.

With this, there are now a total of seven postponed games in the best basketball in the world, counting those of December 14 and 16 that involved the Chicago Bulls (first against the Detroit Pistons and then against the Toronto Raptors). As infections increase, the NBA is discussing modifications to its health and safety protocols with the National Basketball Players Association, including possible list expansion options.

One of the hard hit teams is the Brooklyn Nets, where there are already nine players forced into quarantine, including superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The point guard and the forward must be isolated for 10 days until they find negative results separated from each other for 24 hours, however, Irving could only play the away games, since the state of New York requires mandatory vaccination of athletes professionals.

Players who are not fully vaccinated should enter health and safety protocols if they are in close contact with a person who has tested positive. Starting Friday, players who have not received a booster shot will be subject to more stringent restrictions, including game day testing.

Coaching staffs are also being affected, as Lakers head coach Frank Vogel missed Sunday’s game against the Bulls after entering protocols. Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, Kings coach Alvin Gentry and Toronto president Masai Ujiri are also on those protocols.

Regarding the impact on fans, the Raptors announced on December 15 that they will play home games at 50% capacity (about 9,900 fans). They are currently the only team to have announced an updated arena capacity policy.

For its part, NFL experienced the first game postponement of the current season, with three having to be removed from their original schedule during week 15. League commissioner Roger Goodell had said in July that games would not be rescheduled due to outbreaks of equipment and instead would be lost. The league completed last season on schedule, but had to reschedule 15 games along the way.

Regarding the current week 15, the games that changed were the Cleveland Browns against the Las Vegas Raiders, which went from Saturday to Monday, as well as the Los Angeles Rams against the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Football Team against the Philadelphia Eagles, which postponed until Tuesday.

According to reports from CBS Sports, the NFL It already has more than 120 players on the list of casualties by the covid protocols, present in 27 of the 32 teams. Of the most affected clubs are the Browns with 19 on the list, the Rams with 17, Washington with 14 and the Bears with 11.