If you find yourself refreshing your Twitter feed, turning to news sites, and/or trying to find a TV channel with answers about what to expect for the Kansas City Chiefs‘ scheduled Week 16 game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, just know you’re not alone. In fact, some of those involved in the actual game are likely doing the very same thing.
At this point, if you include both active roster and practice squad players, the Chiefs have a total of 10 guys who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been placed on the reserve list in response. If that sounds like a lot, it is. It’s approximately 20 percent of the team.
The downside is that it’s going to get worse.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers are likely glued to TV and Twitter trying to figure out what to expect.
Reporters are saying that more names are likely coming in the hours to come as the NFL will release an official list by day’s end. As for Pittsburgh, they have a single player, defensive tackle Montravius Adams, on their COVID list. That competitive imbalance will likely create some momentum to move the game forward a bit to see if some players who are now out could bounce back in time.
This past week, the NFL moved two games to Monday night and two more to Tuesday night as part of a major postponement and rescheduling effort in Week 15. Will the league do the same again in Week 16? And will we see much more of this going forward? The entire country is reckoning with another COVID surge that’s predicted to get worse as winter creeps in, which means every team is likely to go through this sort of overwhelmed roster by the season’s end.
At this point, it’s impossible to know anything for sure. Will the game be played as scheduled? If so, who will play? Could it be moved? Postponed? Will the teams be forced to just move forward with things?
Right now, it’s still quite early in the week on a Tuesday afternoon with a game waiting to be played in five days’ time. That’s a lot of time for further options to be researched and for more variables to come into play. The COVID spread could get worse or better. Team officials and leaders might begin to advocate for various scenarios. The league might learn which days/times are possible and which ones won’t be allowed.
As fans, the only thing we can know at this point is that nothing is concrete. Week 16 is clouded in COVID confusion for Chiefs Kingdom and there’s just no way around it. As uncomfortable as that makes things, it’s likely going to feel this way for the next few days.