It took the 6 percent of NFL players who tested positive for COVID-19 in one week for the league to give up its previously unbearable position not to postpone games as a result of the pandemic.

This week has been one of the worst in the league, with widespread spread and multiple teams putting 10 or more players on their COVID reserve rosters. As the farewell weeks wind down, each team is scheduled to play every week for the remainder of the season, including teams affected by the rampant coronavirus. These teams will have very little time to recover from their problems.

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On Friday, the NFL postponed three games — Raiders at the Browns, Seahawks at the Rams and Washington at the Eagles — a day after new COVID protocols were announced.

The protocols were met with criticism, most notably from the Browns Baker Mayfield quarterback, but disdain for the postponements was more widespread, given their widespread nature.

Notably, Raiders and Eagles players have taken to Twitter to voice their complaints. Las Vegas and Philadelphia are among the teams with the fewest players on the COVID reserve roster, while Cleveland and Washington have the most.

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Raiders owner Mark Davis has highlighted how his entire team has been vaccinated and will now play in short consecutive weeks. On top of that, he took issue with the fact that last year several Raiders offensive linemen had wasted time with COVID, but the league hasn’t postponed any of the team’s games, while it has been postponing this year’s game after a rival broke out.

A similar situation arose last year when the Broncos were falling behind all their regular quarterbacks and had to use wide receiver Kendall Hinton for the job. The league did not postpone that game either, and the Broncos lost 31-3 to the Saints.

Free agent defensive linebacker Trey Boston, who has no stake in any of these games, reminded everyone of that.

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Two players directly affected — Raiders quarterback KJ Wright and left back Casey Hayward — have tasked the NFL Players Association with their role in this decision and its comprehensive treatment of protocols.

Eagles Pro Bowl defensive linebacker Darius Sly noted that the complaints were not coming because he and the other players were afraid or trying to avoid competition, but because their teams were doing what they were told when others weren’t.

Sly’s teammate Rodney MacLeod posted a similar opinion.

It remains to be seen if anything may change in the future and whether the NFL and NFL can reach consensus on protocols that satisfies everyone.

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