Why the NFL is immune to an MLB-level crisis

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In NFL, no one wants to be culprit that ruined 2020 season

Here’s the thing about the NFL, and I think we’re about to learn this in the coming days: No franchise wants to risk the league’s entire season because it made a mistake. Nobody wants to be the reckless embarrassment. Nobody wants to be the gambling pariah. And more than anything, nobody wants to be the weak link that ultimately undercuts the vast amount of work that has gone into getting the 2020 season on track.

For that simple reason, we wasted some energy on Monday measuring what the Marlins’ outbreak means for the NFL. Why? If a huge swath of NFL players on one team suddenly came up positive on a Saturday, it’s very likely that Sunday will produce a forfeit rather than a situation where a team hopes for the best and ultimately ends up endangering another franchise, and by extension, the league and 2020 season.

Now that responsibility is getting split into 32 fragments, with teams individually carrying the burden of not screwing it all up — whether through negligence or pride. It matters. From the best franchises in the league to the worst. Maybe even more to the worst because nobody wants to be branded with the lasting mistake of throwing an entire season and league into chaos.

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (L) kept his distance from Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi and outfielder Andrew McCutchen on Friday. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

What if an NFL team followed Marlins’ example?

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