Covid-19 disrupts the NFL, NBA and NHL, excluding a number of players, including major league stars.
New cases this week have hit the leagues and caused the NBA and NHL to be postponed. The NFL is facing an outbreak of the virus with the playoffs starting next month.
The NFL reported a number of fine offenses on Monday and Tuesday to 88, but as the players came along the list, almost 100 were very accurate, the worst of the league's two-day period at the time of the violence.
Dr Allen Sills, NFL chief medical officer, said on Wednesday, the omicron variant was found amidst the dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases across the league.
Sills said NFL owners were told at Wednesday's meetings that the booster shooting was focused on efforts to reduce the spread, and Sills said the omicron diversity was expected to be a major pressure point in the US.
Omicron spread is a cause for growing concern, NFL sees increase in Covid cases
DEC. 15, 202102: 23
Cleveland Brown earlier Wednesday announced that six players have been added to the Covid-19 squad, including defender Baker Mayfield, defender John Johnson III and defender Malik McDowell.
Brown has 18 players, including their first half of 22, on the list.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said there were no plans to cancel or postpone Cleveland's home against the Las Vegas attackers on Saturday.
“I think the things that made us successful are putting safety first. Second, the willingness to adapt. It is clear from the last few weeks that the changes are more important and different than before, and I think it calls for a change in our overall agreements, and we are working with the players' movement on that, "Goodell said.
Other star players on the Covid-19 shortlist this week include Los Angeles Rams receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Chris Jones defending the Pro Bowl twice for the Kansas City Chiefs.
In hardwood, the NBA does not perform much better.
The Chicago Bulls on Monday announced that Tuesday's game against Detroit Pistons and Thursday's match against Toronto Raptors will be rescheduled.
Games mark the first postponement of the season. As of Wednesday afternoon, about 25 players have been in NBA health and safety regulations.
Ten Bulls players have entered the Covid-19 league goals since December 1, including stars Zach LaVine and Demar DeRozan, according to NBC Chicago.
One of the league faces, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the Milwaukee Bucks to the tournament last season, was expected to miss Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers after being included in league league health and safety agreements on Tuesday.
"Like the rest of the country, and as predicted by our infectious disease specialists, we have seen an increase in cases in the Association," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Wednesday. "We will continue to pursue science and data and, in partnership with the Players Association, will review our policies as they see fit with our medical professionals."
About 97 percent of league players are vaccinated, the NBA said. Of the eligible players, the league said, about 60 percent received a booster vaccine.
The return of professional sports following the onset of the epidemic could have a devastating effect on some fans, said Nicole Forrester, an assistant professor of sports at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
"Perhaps it is a reminder of the fact that we do not come out of the jungle and how this virus is so prevalent," Forrester said.
Forrester, the 2008 Olympic athlete of the Canadian team, said the public could see the barriers posed by the virus in professional sports as a sign of their perception of the issue. Some might conclude, “Well, that is a real thing. It's back. ”
Some "who may not be vaccinated, may say, 'These people are vaccinated and still get the virus.'
In NHL stadiums, the league, like the NBA has been forced to postpone games. Unlike the NBA, there have been more than a few setbacks.
More than 140 NHL players are on the Covid protocol list this season - including more than a dozen since Monday.
The league on Monday postponed the next three games of the Calgary Flames after six players and a staff member entered the Covid-19 league goal in 24 hours.
The club announced Monday that striker Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson and Adam Ruzicka as well as defenders Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov were in the process.
An NHL spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
NHL postponed three Ottawa Senators matches in mid-November due to a team outbreak. Other games postponed last month include games for New York Islanders at New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, according to NBC New York.
William Parham, a professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a psychologist working with top athletes, said top leagues were doing well to keep their seasons going. He said the athletes have always been strong.
Covid-19 and its variants are here for an indefinite future, Parham said. The rise in disease only shows athletes like all of us, Parham said.
"If any, the coronavirus, with its various strains, suggests that the virus has equal opportunities," he said. “It does not discriminate. And everyone is at risk, including the highly trained and talented athletes. ... They are not safe. "