NFL navigates through season amidst pandemic

Senior+Keyvan+Montazami+expresses+his+frustrations+with+the+Washington+Football+Team.+In+a+season+filled+with+so+many+changes+due+to+the+COVID-19+pandemic%2C+local+fans+have+watched+in+disappointment+as+Washington+has+remained+one+of+the+worst+teams+in+the+National+Football+League.

Courtesy of Keyvan Montazami

Senior Keyvan Montazami expresses his frustrations with the Washington Football Team. In a season filled with so many changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local fans have watched in disappointment as Washington has remained one of the worst teams in the National Football League.

Corbin Lathrop, Editor-in-Chief

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of society, and the National Football League is no exception. The NFL returned for its 101st season this September, and through six weeks has faced a barrage of positive tests and schedule changes.

The Tennessee Titans have been at the forefront of these issues, as over 23 players and team personnel tested positive at the beginning of October. This led to the Titan’s week four game against the Pittsburgh Steelers being postponed until late November, and their week five game against the Buffalo Bills being pushed back two days. 

The Titans haven’t been the only team dealing with the Coronavirus. The New England Patriots have also had numerous players receive positive tests, including newly signed, former MVP quarterback Cam Newton. Newton’s positive test made him the most notable player to miss a game this season due to COVID, as he was forced to sit out of the Patriot’s week four game against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Even teams who haven’t received positive tests are seeing changes to their schedules. In order to accommodate the postponements of several games thus far, the Steelers, Broncos, Chiefs, Dolphins, Chargers, Jaguars, and Jets have all had to adjust their schedules. These widespread changes have led many to call for the addition of an 18th week to the NFL schedule in order to give the league more flexibility.

Fans of the NFL have been left scrambling as they try to make sense of this strange season.

“All the changes to the NFL schedule have been really confusing and annoying. As an avid fantasy football player, there have been several instances where my players have had their games cancelled or postponed at the last minute. This puts me in a weird position where I am left guessing as to what the NFL will do,” said senior Cooper Johnson.

Despite the unusual circumstances, a number of teams and players have still excelled. Through six weeks, three teams—the Steelers (5-0), Titans (5-0), and Seahawks (5-0)—remain undefeated. Additionally, a number of rookies have shown that they belong in the league. Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, the number one overall pick in the draft, has thrown for 1,617 yards and 6 touchdowns. Wide Receivers Justin Jefferson of the Vikings, Henry Ruggs III of the Raiders, and CeeDee Lamb of the Cowboys have also shined, proving the many experts right who proclaimed this year’s draft class to be one of the deepest of all time at the position.

Fans of the local Washington Football Team, on the other hand, have not had much to cheer about. Despite many changes during the offseason including new front office personnel, a new team name, a new head coach, and the addition of second overall draft pick Chase Young, the troubled franchise continues to be one of the league’s worst. Washington is off to a 1-5 start and is tied for last place in the NFC East.

“Being a fan of [the Washington Football Team] is incredibly demoralizing. When I look at teams like the Seahawks or Chiefs, their fans are shocked when they lose. With Washington, we’re shocked when we win. We are in a constant cycle of sadness. We just have no hope right now,” said senior Keyvan Montazami.