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#pounditMonday, October 25, 2021

Broncos’ Shelby Harris thinks team is being ‘punished’ with schedule change

Roger Goodell

The Denver Broncos had their Week 5 game moved to Monday due to positive coronavirus cases with the New England Patriots, and veteran defensive end Shelby Harris is unhappy with the NFL over the schedule change.

The decision to move the Broncos-Patriots game to Monday came after three New England players — including Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore — tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately for the Patriots, they won’t lose a day of preparation for Week 6 because they have a bye. Denver does not, which is why Harris feels like the Broncos are being “punished.”

Despite what Harris may think, the NFL is not bending over backwards to take care of the Patriots. The goal is to avoid having to postpone games, and moving Patriots-Broncos back a day gives the league more time to test players and see if more positives are returned. It’s merely a coincidence that New England has a bye next week. Had it been Denver with the bye, the approach almost certainly would have remained the same.

Several games have already been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests. Last week’s game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed until later in the year, with both teams treating Week 4 as their bye. That solution can work for each team once, but things get more complicated the second time a team’s game needs to be moved. That is why the NFL is trying to squeeze the games in even if it means moving some to Monday or Tuesday.

In the event that games need to be canceled rather than postponed, the NFL is reportedly looking into a different way to determine which teams make the playoffs.

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