Casey Heyward, NFL Players React to League Postponing Games amid COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward (29) plays against the Washington Football Team during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward is one of many players unhappy with the NFL's decision to move his team's game this week:

Casey Hayward @show_case29

I’m sure the <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLPA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLPA</a> president playing for the Browns didn’t have any effect on these negotiations… <a href="https://t.co/MZ95eVyOiz">pic.twitter.com/MZ95eVyOiz</a>

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Raiders' game against the Cleveland Browns initially scheduled for Saturday will now be played on Monday at 5 p.m. ET. Schefter also reports the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks will be moved to Tuesday night, along with the NFC East battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team.

Other NFL players had negative reaction to games being moved:

Darius Slay @bigplay24slay

Damn I thought the team would have to forfeit!!! This crazy🤦🏾‍♂️


I pay my player dues just to get lied to and the rules bent! <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLPA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLPA</a> <br><br>If it was the other way around I swear we would be playing tomorrow

Tre Boston @TreBos10

NFL &amp; Owners told teams before the season no games would be re-scheduled. They reiterated that teams would have to just forfeit the game. Am I lying?🤔 See how fast NFL will switch up to what benefits them &amp; their money. If players only understood this don’t work without them.😎

fletcher cox @fcoxx_91


These decisions come amid massive COVID-19 outbreaks around the league.

The Browns have 24 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per Jake Trotter of ESPN, including starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and backup Case Keenum. Jadeveon Clowney, Mack Wilson and Tony Fields II were all added to the reserve list on Friday morning. The Rams and Washington have had similar issues this week.

Hayward believes Browns center J.C. Tretter, who is the current president of the NFL Players' Association, helped influence the decision to postpone the game.

The shorthanded teams would have been at a significant competitive disadvantage if the game was played as scheduled, but the league said it wouldn't postpone games for that reason this season.

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

NFL memo from July stated: "Absent medical considerations or government directives, games will not be postponed or rescheduled simply to avoid roster issues caused by injury or illness affecting multiple players, even within a position group." <a href="https://t.co/v6nAdLe0zi">https://t.co/v6nAdLe0zi</a>

As NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted, games were postponed in 2020 because of evidence of ongoing spread. The three Browns players added to the COVID-19 list on Friday seemingly indicates that the virus is still spreading around the organization.

That game is still an important one as both the Raiders (6-7) and Browns (7-6) look to play their way into the playoffs. Both sides are clearly looking to get a fair opportunity ahead of the Week 15 battle.

Washington (6-7) and Philadelphia (6-7) are looking to climb up the division standings in the NFC East, while the Rams (9-4) will try to keep up in the NFC West if they can defeat Seahawks (5-8).