Jags RB Ryquell Armstead to miss season due to COVID-19 complications

When 23-year-old Ryquell Armstead was placed on the NFL’s COVID reserve list on September 4th, the assumption was that Armstead would soon recover and return as has been the case with most NFL players contracting the virus. After all, he’s young and healthy. But as the days and weeks have passed, questions about his status swelled.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided a chilling answer on Sunday’s NFL Countdown. According to Schefter, Armstead has suffered complications from COVID-19 including to his respiratory system. He has already been hospitalized twice and will miss the season.

This is terrifying news for Armstead and the entire NFL community wishes him a full recovery. It’s also terrifying news in that it exposes the potency of this virus, how the healthiest athletes are not immune, a reality that many have yet to believe.

Meanwhile, COVID cases in the United States are spiking, with the past week seeing American case count at its highest in months. Despite the numbers, the NFL continues to operate with business as usual. Many NFL stadiums are starting to allow more fans into their stadiums. Armstead’s Jaguars have averaged more than 15,000 fans through three home games.

We will see how the NFL handles this news. If the league is truly a leader in health and safety, it has an opportunity, some could say obligation, to use this Armstead situation and education its fanbase about the true reach of this ongoing virus.