Omicron forcing NHL, NBA, NFL to shuffle schedules

Sports

The NFL logo is seen on a football packaging in Los Angeles on August 24, 2020. (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — With the omicron variant blitzing professional sports leagues, schedule makers in the NHL, NBA and NFL are having to scramble to reschedule or even cancel games as the toll of players testing positive for the virus increases.

Breakthrough cases among vaccinated players are wreaking havoc on all professional sports. While the illnesses aren’t serious, the specter of a positive test still looms large over a team, especially with some few players still refusing to get vaccinated even once, much less boosted.

So, in the NFL, viewers get two games on Tuesday: the Washington Football Team vs. the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks at the L.A. Rams. This can make for some punishing turnaround times for teams scheduled to play again on Sunday, but the league sees it as better than canceling games or handing out forfeits, even though some players have grumbled otherwise.

For today, the regularly scheduled slugfest between the Vikings and the Bears will take to the airwaves for “Monday Night Football,” but first we’ll get an appetizer of the Raiders and Browns in a game pushed back from Saturday.

The NHL schedule is quickly clearing. All games involving travel between the U.S. and Canada are now postponed through Christmas. Because of team-wide outbreaks, Colorado, Florida, Boston, Nashville, Calgary and Detroit are also suspending play.

In the NBA, numerous teams are dealing with outbreaks. This includes the Brooklyn Nets, with famously unvaccinated Kyrie Irving just being announced as a “part-time” player. Not so fast, though, as he tested positive the day after that announcement, along with Nets stars Kevin Durant and James Harden. There are now 10 members of the Nets sidelined in total.

The situation in pro sports mirrors that among the general public, with restaurants once again shutting down and universities going to virtual classes. Even the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is up for debate, with a decision on whether it goes forward expected to come by Christmas.

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