NFL Schedule is tight
The Rams are close to the end of the season, with four games scheduled weekly. Right now, delaying this game a day or two does not appear to offer much in the way of relief. Of course, the Seattle Seahawks and LA Rams could play after the end of the season, but that would impact the schedule for the NFL Playoffs.
But let’s view this from an NFL marketing perspective. Does it really bode well for the NFL to pit the Seattle Seahawks against a patchwork LA Rams team that has followed all the rules and protocols? For that matter, is it wise for the NFL to put the Rams, the Cleveland Browns, and the Washington Football team at such a competitive disadvantage?
The LA Rams face the unique challenge of time-sharing SoFi Stadium with the LA Chargers. So there is that additional complexity of any effort to reschedule the LA Rams game so as to allow for the Chargers to maintain their schedule as well.
Stop the insanity
But, let’s be clear. The NFL cannot sit back and observe this issue. The LA Rams are down 25 players. Washington and Cleveland are down 21 players. This is not an issue facing just one team. Since it is rapidly growing into a league-wide matter, it needs a league-wide response.
This is not the WWE folks. There are no ‘handicap’ matches in the NFL. This is not a Hell-In-A-Cell, a Royal Rumble, or any other poorly conceived marketing gimmick. This is the NFL, and the games played now have an incredible bearing on which team does, and does not, make it to the postseason. There is no way that any executive of the NFL could possibly expect 34 rostered players to face 48 players from the opposing team. Not even an exhibition game would dare that type of lopsidedness.
In a memo sent out by the NFL to teams in June 2021, the league office stated the following:
"“If a club cannot play due to a Covid spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams.” – per Around The NFL writer Kevin Patra"
It’s time for a sane approach here. Delay the contests of Week 15 and place them at the back of the season. This is not a hiccup that affects one careless team. Rather, this is a new reality and the NFL needs to get their act together on this one. There is no other way around that right now. Inconvenient? Yes.
But let’s not confuse the angst of rescheduling a game to ensure a fair competitive contest with the insanity of asking a half-strength LA Rams roster to take on the Seahawks at full strength. I’d sooner the Rams not show up if that is the case.