It did not take long for the NFL’s in-person return to work to be interrupted by a slew of positive tests for COVID-19. Add Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson to the list of NFL figures who have tested positive for coronavirus.
The Super Bowl LII-winning head coach informed his team that he tested positive. He took two tests to confirm that he was indeed a positive case.
According to ESPN, it’s believed he contracted the virus outside of the building. However, the Eagles are performing contact tracing to ensure that those close to Pederson are safe, including quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Press Taylor, who has already been sent home and tested as a precaution.
Pederson, 52, is the second known NFL head coach to contract COVID-19. Earlier in the spring, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton confirmed he had contracted coronavirus.
The Eagles released a statement indicating that Pederson is asymptomatic and feeling well.
Philadelphia’s reported plan moving forward is to have Pederson handle matters remotely while assistant coach Duce Staley will handle in-person day-to-day aspects until the ex-Packer, Dolphin, and Eagle quarterback clears testing and returns to the team facility.
I don’t know if the NFL can just power through COVID-19 as if it will go away soon but getting creative about how to handle this is critical to preserve what might be the most challenging season in league history.