Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Arthur Blank on current COVID crunch: “At some point, you feel like you are fighting a ghost”

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss what the NFL and NFLPA can and should do to get COVID-19 rates down during the postseason.

The NFL is currently losing the protracted tug-of-war with COVID. And it’s creating clear frustration among owners.

“At some point, you feel like you are fighting a ghost,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said from the quarterly ownership meetings in Dallas, via Judy Battista of NFL Media. “You don’t know where to swing.”

Giants co-owner John Mara seemed equally resigned to the situation.

It seems like it’s never going away,” Mara said, also per Battista.

That’s why the league needs to devise protocols that acknowledge the fact that the pandemic has become endemic. It’s here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. It’s not a one- or two-year thing. The league needs to figure out how to better manage things. The protocols need to reflect more common sense, more of the knowledge that has been developed over the past two years.

And it needs to give a crap about the protocols it adopts. If a quarterback isn’t vaccinated, he can’t be allowed to ignore the rules, as Aaron Rodgers was. If there’s reason to believe that players have fake vaccination cards (and there is), the situation needs to be investigated.

Too much of the 2021 protocols seem to be about P.R. and politics. That stuff needs to take a backseat to the practicalities of staging 272 regular-season games and 13 postseason games. The goal needs to be finding a way to minimize the spread and to maximize the ability of players who catch it (but who have no symptoms) to play.

The league doesn’t have to fight a ghost. It can tackle far more tangible issues in an effort to coexist with Casper, and to make him as friendly as humanly possible.