Although no one on the Kansas City Chiefs’ active roster has contracted it, COVID-19 continues to show its effects on the team and the league as a whole.
“You got to kind of roll with the punches,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “That’s the life we’re living right now with COVID being out here in the world.”
A case of COVID-19 involving the New England Patriots forced the game with the Chiefs back from Sunday to Monday last week, setting up a stretch of three games in 11 days for Kansas City.
But as of Friday morning, that schedule is in jeopardy. The Chiefs must wait and see if the Tennessee Titans, who have garnered new positive tests almost every day since their initial outbreak over a week ago, will be able to play their game with the Buffalo Bills, which has been moved from Sunday to Tuesday.
If so, the Chiefs matchup with the Bills will be postponed to a later date over next weekend. If more COVID-19 cases force the Bills and Titans to not play Tuesday, the NFL plans for the game to go on as scheduled Thursday.
While all the last-second schedule changes make preparation difficult, players and coaches say they have to use their time as best as possible.
“There’s been nothing routine about this year,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “We have not had a normal Sunday-to-Sunday game week.”
Spagnuolo said nothing like what has unfolded in the last week has ever happened in his entire career.
“You plan your week to play on a certain day, and all the sudden you don’t play that day,” Spagnuolo said.
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said he has seen something similar in his time as an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings, when the roof to the Metrodome collapsed and forced the team to alter its schedule during the 2010 season.
“One thing you learn in this profession is to always remain flexible,” Bieniemy said.
While the schedule changes have made things difficult for the Chiefs, one thing has been constant: taking everything one day at a time.
As the Chiefs are taking game preparations one day at a time, they are approaching the virus the same way.
“You’re not just doing it for the guys on this team, you’re doing it for the guys league-wide,” Kelce said. “It’s unfortunate what’s been going on, but hopefully everyone realizes again how serious this matter is and how fast this bug can spread.”
The Chiefs will face the Las Vegas Raiders in Kansas City at noon Sunday