When the Washington Baseball Club hosts the New York American League Baseball Club on Thursday night, Juan Soto won’t be playing for the home team.
Soto will be absent because he has tested positive for COVID-19. But here’s the twist that should have the NFL’s 32 owners rushing for the Roll-Aids: Soto played in a game after giving the sample that tested positive.
Specifically, Soto submitted to the test on Tuesday, played in a Tuesday night exhibition against the Orioles, worked out at Nationals Park on Wednesday, and then learned of his positive Tuesday sample today.
This means that Soto exposed Nationals teammates and Orioles opponents to the virus. Which Yankees players will now have to factor in to their preparations for tonight’s season-opening game.
Of course, baseball players will rarely be in close proximity on rarely. Even then, it won’t happen on a sustained basis. If/when this happens to a football team, the player will be on the practice field or potentially in a game before the result of a positive test is known.
The NFL will have a 24-hour turnaround for COVID-19 tests, which means that a Saturday test determined to be negative followed by a Sunday test determined to be positive will mean that a player played in a Sunday game, alongside teammates and against opponents. And if the NFL’s calculated roll of the dice that transmission primarily happens in confined spaces comes up craps in a bad way, the seeds of an outbreak will be planted.