COVID surge wreaking havoc on professional sports, especially in Detroit

New protocols lead to sidelined players, rescheduled games

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell gives quarterback Jared Goff the last play of the game during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – The NFL put a plan in motion to move some of this weekend’s games to Monday and Tuesday as more players test positive for COVID-19.

At least 100 players have tested positive for COVID.

Don’t worry, Detroit Lions fans: Although they were decimated with their own widespread outbreak in week 14, you will be able to hear the roar this Sunday as their matchup vs. the Arizona Cardinals is not one of the rescheduled games.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said players wouldn’t likely be back this weekend after nearly 20% of the team has tested positive.

“I think that’s highly unlikely for us,” Campbell said. “We felt like talking about it last night. Some of the things that have come into play, I don’t think will help us, but I don’t think it bodes well for us right now.”

New Saturday: Red Wings place 5 in COVID protocol including coach Jeff Blashill

The Detroit Red Wings announced Saturday three players and two coaches have been placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

Forwards Givani Smith and Carter Rowney, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay have all been placed in the protocol. That means they will miss Saturday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils at Little Caesars Arena.

Detroit is recalling goalie Calvin Pickard and forward Riley Barber from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. The team also said assistant coach Doug Houda will be joined by Griffins head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier for the game against the Devils.

Read more here.

To make sure games across multiple sports are played, all leagues put new COVID protocols in place on Dec. 16.

On Friday, (Dec. 17), all NFL teams must wear masks no matter their vaccination status. All meetings are back to being virtual, and all activities outside of team facilities will be limited.

The NFLPA has agreed to a more relaxed set of rules for players to return to play who are vaccinated but test positive without showing any signs of having symptoms.

The NBA will increase testing, and players riding the pine will have to wear masks at all times, including your favorite Detroit Pistons.

Monday’s matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche at Little Caesars Arena is rescheduled due to the spread of COVID within the Avalanche.

Daily testing will ensue in the NHL for your Red Wings instead of once every three days. Socially distancing will be encouraged. The league is prohibiting indoor dining on the road as well.

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.