By Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
An NFLPA database shows that 72 NFL players were known to have tested positive for the coronavirus as of July 10.
As the NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to negotiate rules under which training camps may begin later this month and the regular season may begin in September, the union is trying to make sure its members are kept up to date on the presence of the coronavirus around the country and in their specific communities.
The 72 number is difficult to put into context, because not every player in the league, or even a very large number, has been tested. But estimating 32 traditional 90-man training camp rosters would give you a number of 2,880 total NFL players at the moment, which means the 72 represent 2.5% of the league’s player population.
The NFLPA has made this information public on its website, which also provides players a market-by-market look at how the virus has been spreading in cities where camps are scheduled to open later this month. The map on the site is based on 14-day averages of new positive tests and currently shows Miami as the “hottest” virus spot among NFL markets, with 4,164 average daily cases over the past two weeks. Close behind are Los Angeles, Arizona and Dallas.
On the other end of the spectrum, the chart shows the New England Patriots’ market with the fewest positive tests over the past 14 days. Other teams in markets on the low end include the New York Jets and Giants, the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions.
The NFLPA has spent the past couple of weeks negotiating with the league on health and safety protocols specific to reopening procedures in light of the virus, as well as on economic issues such as the impact of lost 2020 revenue on the 2021 salary cap. Several prominent members of the players’ union have said publicly that they won’t agree to return to play until they’re convinced everything has been done to keep them as safe as possible. The league and union continue to haggle over issues ranging from frequency of testing to specialized face shields to opt-out procedures for players who aren’t comfortable playing in the current climate.
Training camp for most teams is scheduled to begin July 28.