Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman said Thursday he felt the NFL has handled the recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases well but admitted that the biggest obstacle to overcome this season has been the lack of fans.
Appearing on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria”, the three-time Super Bowl champion noted that playing in empty stadiums has been a “burden” for the players.
“Well the biggest difference for us and for the players as well, more so for the players, is the fact that there’s really not many fans and in some states there’s no fans whatsoever. You know, that’s a big adjustment,” he said.
He continued: “I think that it's put a burden on these players, so to speak. They feed off of that energy from the crowd so that’s been pretty unique. But overall, I think the way the NFL has gone about it, the fact that we have been able to get out on the field and play for the most part -- not that many cases … All in all, I think things have probably gone about as well as everyone could have hoped.”
Aikman addressed the recent outbreak in the Tennessee Titans organization that saw 24 players and members test positive, saying that the idea was never that the league would see zero cases while playing in the midst of a pandemic.
“I don’t think anyone ever went into this thinking there wouldn’t be some cases. It’s just how those situations would be handled and how we as a league would be able to move forward. I think it’s a fluid situation and we’ve been able to do that,” the former quarterback said.
Shortly after Aikman addressed the recent cases, the Atlanta Falcons issued a statement confirming that it would be suspending all in-person operations after one person tested positive for COVID-19.
“This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials," he said. "The health and safety of our team is our highest priority.”
Multiple reports indicated that it was not a player.