This morning, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter hyped up his report about a positive COVID-19 case within the NFL as if he were pushing a promo for the late-night local news:
This tweet came roughly half an hour after Schefter had triumphantly announced that no NFL players or coaches had tested positive in Week 1. So, who was it? As Schefter explained once he had everyone’s attention, NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron had caught the coronavirus. Riveron normally works out of the league’s command center in New York, but he stayed home in Miami for the first week of the season. He’s now “feeling great,” per Schefter’s sources.
As the NFL has made a show of its diligence in testing players and coaches, Schefter has been more than happy to make commissioner Roger Goodell’s coronavirus task force look as capable as it desires to be. This past Sunday, Schefter gave credit to the NFL for “a rather remarkable feat,” and praised them again this past Thursday for “a strong start.” Why anyone would take at face value the information provided by a league that previously mishandled the diagnoses of so many brain injuries is beyond me, but there’s already a theme developing. Even when there is an ominous coronavirus update in the NFL, the line to reiterate is that all other players and coaches tested negative.
Sunday mornings are usually when the national access merchants dump their notebooks, and Schefter’s no different. That he decided to tease a COVID-19 case the same way he would a quarterback being upgraded from “doubtful” to “questionable” tells you everything you need to know about his capacity for holding the NFL accountable this season.