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Cam's Covid a Wakeup Call

Bill Belichick is a master gameplanner. We all know that. 

The one thing he and other NFL coaches can't gameplan for? The COVID-19 pandemic that is grappling the United States. 

That came to fruition when it was learned Patriots quarterback Cam Newton had tested positive for the virus. Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs was rightfully postponed. Eighteen Tennessee Titans have tested positive as of Sunday morning, and their game against Pittsburgh was postponed to Week 7. 

If this doesn't wake the country up, I don't know what will.

NFL players are among the world's greatest athletes. Newton was off to one of the best starts of his career. Nobody is invisible from this pandemic, even though the NFL has taken all the right steps from weekly tests and requiring coaches to wear masks. 

Sadly, this probably won't be the last slate of postponements we see this season.

The glass-half-full side of me wants to see the NFL get to the Super Bowl in Tampa on Feb. 7, but I'm starting to have some doubts after two Week 4 games got postponed. The NFL needs to learn from the NHL. Of all the four major sports playing during the pandemic, the NHL got it right and it wasn't even close.

And again, I hope this wakes up the rest of the country. Believe it or not, people complain about wearing a mask to enter a restaurant for a mere 10-second walk from host stand to table while servers are running around wearing them for entire shifts. If this can affect a strong, talented athlete like Newton, it can affect anyone. It's understandably wearing on all of us, but the only way we're going to emerge to the other side of this is taking necessary precautions.

Other games went on this weekend, but who knows what we'll see in Week 5. And who knows who will be under center for the Patriots in Week 5 when the Denver Broncos come to Foxboro. 

This is about more than a game. The health of Newton and his teammates and coaches is first and foremost. And Roger Goodell needs to consider suspending coaches who don't cover their faces on the bench in addition to the mandatory fines levied by the league. 

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