The New York Jets game against the Arizona Cardinals has been put on hold. Gang Green has its first COVID-19-positive player.
The NFL has already had a tough time rearranging its schedule to accommodate COVID-19 positive tests, whether that means playing two Monday night games, a Tuesday game, or even shifting team’s bye weeks. Now, the New York Jets are caught up in the mess.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets have their first COVID-19-positive player.
After a presumptive positive player test today, all Jets players and coaches were just sent home, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 9, 2020
However, the results are not definite. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the player is undergoing another test to make sure it wasn’t a false positive. It wouldn’t be the first time, considering the New Orleans Saints experienced a similar situation last week.
The Jets player who potentially tested positive has been re-tested. Results should be known at some point today. Players were in the building this morning when the team became aware of this, and were sent home immediately. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 9, 2020
If the player is positive, as expected, the Jets must shut down their facility and test all the players who were in close contact with the COVID-19-positive player. It’s impossible to know how many individuals would need to be tested since we’re unaware of which player tested positive at this time.
The news puts the Jets’ Week 5 matchup with the Cardinals in jeopardy — the game is on Sunday, and COVID-19 isn’t detectable for 2-14 days. It seems reckless to play the game despite this positive test — we saw the Chiefs and Patriots play just a few days before New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive.
It would be incredibly tricky to figure out how to rearrange these schedules if they have to play the game at a later date. The Jets’ bye week is Week 11, with the Cardinals’ bye arriving in Week 8. Being so far apart, multiple games on both team’s schedules would need to be altered in order to make it happen. This turns it into a near-impossible situation to just reschedule the meeting for later in the season.
The most likely scenario is the game is played on Tuesday, just like the Bills and Titans. This would give the Jets a short week to prepare and travel across the country to play the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6.