The NFL is working hard to get a season going amid the whole “pandemic thing.” The health and safety of everyone involved has to be a top priority. But contingencies to keep the season going once it starts are likely a “1a” priority. To this end, Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com fame presented the notion that teams may be considering quarantining a quarterback to make sure there’s some continuity at the most important position on the field.
Florio dives into some of the logistics of the idea, such as whether a team might decide to isolate their second- or third-string quarterback. Click through for his thoughts on this concerning the league. We’re a Buffalo Bills site though, so let’s focus on them and more importantly my opinion on it.
I think it’s a bad idea.
The idea of quarantining a quarterback is all about keeping the team going through a few weeks of crisis if the starter tests positive for COVID-19. On the surface this makes sense as you have a healthy player ready to come in at the drop of a hat.
The first problem is what we mean by “ready.” A truly isolated player won’t be able to practice with teammates and develop any chemistry. It could take weeks of practice to gain any sort of rhythm with the team and even a couple lost weeks can sink a season. Quarantining a quarterback isn’t likely to provide a quick remedy.
You could argue that at least they know the playbook. But that brings us to the larger shadow looming over this strategy and that’s the nature of the virus itself. As the situation with the Miami Marlins has illustrated, if a player has it there’s a very good chance many players will have it. It’s little use to have a backup know the playbook when the team would in all likelihood need to sub in multiple starters at once.
Sadly, if a team runs into a positive test there’s a significant chance it will completely derail the season by virtue of how clusters of cases seem to go. Now I will recognize there’s a chance that a single player tests positive, but in that case it’s no different than an injury fill in.
There’s a clear benefit if a team were to suffer a small cluster only to the quarterback “room.” This is a possibility, though with the amount of interaction this group has with every other “room” it’s not a circumstance I’d wager a lot on. If I’m the Buffalo Bills, I’m working on frying a bigger fish.