December 2, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; The defensive end of the Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah (94) and the offensive of the Los Angeles Rams take place during the game at Ford Field against Andrew Whitworth (77). Mandatory credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
As the sports world moves through the ongoing pandemic to return to live action, we sometimes forget the human faces and names behind the scenes.
The Los Angeles Rams Pro Bowl, which took part in a conference call after an NFLPA meeting on Friday, left Andrew Whitworth and largely reminded us of it.
Ram's star Andrew Whitworth says the whole family signed COVID-19
Rams OT Andrew Whitworth said in a conference call with reporters that the entire family was diagnosed with COVID-19 after a family member had lunch with a friend. Includes his wife's parents; Her father was hospitalized and recently released. Underline the nature of the virus, he said.
– Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL), July 17, 2020
We are dealing with that right now in the USA. A family member decides what is normally an innocent lunch. The entire family was diagnosed with COVID-19, including Whitworth's father-in-law, who was hospitalized. Overall, Whitworth's wife, children, and in-laws have had positive tests with him.
COVID-19 and the 2020 NFL season
All of this is happening in the middle of a gap between the Players' Association and the NFL that relates to the start of the training camp next week. Players don't believe the league has COVID-19 protocols and are looking for more answers. In return, several teams have already ordered their newcomers and quarterbacks to report to the camp early next week.
All of this has a financial background. The NFL plans to save $ 40 million in player salaries for each team given the economic downturn that the virus has caused. Players want it to be pushed back to the 2021 campaign and subsequent seasons.
Regardless, Whitworth's story is the human element for all of this. It shouldn't get lost in the conversation.