Is This The Last Bills Game For Awhile?

The NFL knew the risks when they decided to play. The NFL saw the massive success the NHL and NBA had while confining their leagues to bubbles for the postseason. The NFL saw leagues shut down for months. The NFL saw large college programs do the unthinkable and bow out of the 2020 season. The NFL also saw what always shines the brightest to them. Money. And thus, we are here today.

Two Week 4 games have been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The Tennessee Titans have had 18 positive tests in their organization, with positive tests now coming back for five straight days. The outbreak forced the Titans and Steelers into an early bye-week and at this point it is looking likely that the Titans’ next game, against the Bills, will be postponed as well.

Looking at the possibility of the Bills and Titans not being able to play next week, it raises the question that when the Bills leave the field in Las Vegas on Sunday night, hopefully 4-0, when will the next time we watch the team be? Saturday brought more COVID news, as Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton tested positive. That, along with Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu testing positive, was enough to make the NFL postpone that game until Tuesday of this week. If more players test positive before that, look for that game to be postponed until later in the season as well.

For some of America, it was nice to have the NFL back these past three weeks, as it provided a return to normalcy and possibly helped people forget about the daily struggles and pain of the Coronavirus. However, a lot can change in a week. For starters, one of the the most powerful men in the world tested positive for COVID-19, shaking the global economy and re-igniting fears about a pandemic that most were hoping was behind us. This Sunday looks much different than last Sunday, there are two fewer games and the anxiety around new cases and what it means for the league is noticeable among players, fans, and media. It is fair to wonder if this Sunday will be the last time we see the Bills for awhile.

On top of all of this, there is an added risk for the Bills this week as members of the Raiders were spotted out without a mask Monday night. Obviously, no Raiders have tested positive as of Saturday evening, which is a very good sign and looks like a bullet was dodged. The NFL knew there was risk to play this season. From the perspective of the average fan, it seemed that Roger Goodell wasn’t prepared for this, it seemed like he just wanted to start the season and pretend the pandemic was not a problem, pretend that it wasn’t going to make its way through the NFL despite having players go home to their families and into the community every night. I understand the logistics of “bubbling” 32 NFL teams is much harder than the 16-team Stanley Cup playoffs. But, with the amount of resources the league has, they could have come up with something better.

The fans knew there was risk to play football this year, too. Maybe a 3-0 start and MVP chatter here in Buffalo for the first time in 30 years made us forget about the real world for a little bit and the reality of 2020. But as it always does, life slapped us back into reality this week. Enjoy watching the Bills this weekend and take the three hours of escapism…it may be awhile before our next chance to do so.

Follow us on Twitter at @BuffAuthority and @m_lafave.

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