Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper missed two games due to a positive coronavirus test. However, after his postgame comments Thursday night, it’s pretty clear he thinks he should have played.
Following the Cowboys 27-17 victory over the Saints, Cooper analogized Michael Jordan’s famed “Flu Game” in explaining why he thinks he could have played with the virus.
“It was tough,” Cooper told the media. “[Michael] Jordan played with the flu. That’s how I looked at it. It was a restriction of not being able to play with what I had. It was tough, knowing that I could physically gone out there and played, but the restrictions didn’t allow me to do so.”
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 07: Amari Cooper #19 of the Dallas Cowboys catches the ball in front of Pat Surtain II #2 of the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Cooper, who is unvaccinated, was restricted from the team facility and from playing any games for ten days after his positive test. However, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio raises an interesting point regarding whether the NFL may change its stance on allowing unvaccinated players who test positive to play.
As Florio writes:
The virus transmits much more easily indoors. The NFL has believed from the outset of the pandemic that it’s extremely difficult if not impossible for a player to transfer enough virus to another player in an open-air setting, or in a dome with state-of-the-art ventilation driven by the possibility of an aerosolized terrorist attack.
At what point will the NFL allow players who test positive but who have no symptoms to play? At what point will the NFL allows players who test positive and who have symptoms to play?
Every year, players play with a cold. They play with the flu. They do it because the rules don’t prohibit it. When, then, will the NFL’s COVID protocols evolve to a similar point?
Florio points out that, due to information he received from a source, the league’s hesitancy in relaxing its standards has more to do with therapeutics than vaccines. So, despite the league stressing the importance of its players getting vaccinated, in reality, the NFL is waiting for an actual drug treatment or pill to be developed before it will consider relaxing its restrictions.
(Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
Does that show that the NFL has a ton of confidence in the current vaccines? Probably not. But until a cure arrives, the restrictions will likely remain in place.
As for Jordan’s “Flu Game,” Jordan’s former personal trainer Tim Grover revealed years ago that the NBA legend actually suffered from food poisoning during his 37-point iconic performance against the Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, not the flu.