COVID protocols have been killing many NFL and NBA teams over the last few weeks. A quick look at the journey of two stars in each of these leagues sums up the devastating effect this pandemic is having.
Kyrie Irving, of the New Jersey Nets and the best point guard in the NBA, hasn’t been able to play all year because New York City doesn’t allow you to play unless you are vaccinated. With Kyrie, the Nets are the overwhelming favorites to win the championship this year.
Without him, they could still win the championship because they also have two All-Time Great players in Kevin Durant and James Harden. New Jersey is already the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and has only lost four of their last 15 games. But Irving would give them that extra kick to make them pretty much unstoppable. I don’t like this mandate from New York City, but Kyrie greatly respects it.
“It’s their decision, and I respected it. I really had to sit back and think, and try not to become too emotionally attached to what they were deciding to do. You know I had to sit down and really evaluate things and see it from their perspective. Meaning the organization and my teammates. You know I empathize and understood their choice to say if you’re not gonna be fully vaccinated, then you can’t be a full participant, and I understood the consequences. I wasn’t prepared for them by no stretch of the imagination,” Kyrie said.
But now he is finally able to practice with the team as of last week and will be playing in his first game sometime in the beginning of January. He can still only play in away games, but this is better than nothing. As many NBA players are struggling to adapt to the COVID way of life, it’s exciting Kyrie is able to rise above it all.
Carson Wentz, the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, is on the totally different end of the spectrum. He just found out he has been placed on the unvaccinated reserve/COVID-19 list and probably won’t be able to play this Sunday. He has been playing the whole year and has led his team to a 9-6 record after starting 0-3. He has 3,230 yards passing, with 25 Touchdown passes and only six interceptions. The Colts also have the best running back in the league in Jonathan Taylor, who has 17
Touchdowns with 1,626 yards rushing. These two have made sure their team has won six of their past seven games and are second in the AFC South division. If Wentz can’t go Sunday, backup Sam Ehlinger would play in his place. This could put a screeching halt to the Colt’s playoff hopes as Ehlinger hasn’t played a snap or thrown a pass this year.
These last two weeks of the NFL regular season are going to be really interesting with all the COVID and injury issues that most teams have. But once Sunday comes around, and you are on that field, it’s all about can you do what it takes to win or will you go home. The NBA has much longer to adjust to COVID protocols, but every game is still vital if each team wants to make it to the playoffs and win a title.
Article by: Chris Steele, iHearts143Quotes Team member