ESPN's Todd McShay Says He Was in 'Really Dark' Place After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

From left, Mel Kiper Jr., Booger McFarland, and Louis Riddick are seen on the set of ESPN SportsCenter, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Steve Luciano/Associated Press

ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay says he was in a "really dark" place while in the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

In an appearance on The Adam Schefter Podcast on Wednesday (via Scott Gleeson of USA Today), McShay said he couldn't bring himself to watch the 2020 NFL draft live:

"I got really dark in the hospital. I knew the draft was going on and I couldn't watch it. I didn't watch the draft until Saturday night. I woke up late that night and there was a re-air and I started watching it then because I knew it was over. For whatever reason, I couldn't watch the draft knowing that I wasn't a part of it, wasn't on it, and I felt like I was letting everyone down."

McShay told Schefter he went over a month without seeing his two children and couldn't wait to reunite with them Wednesday night after being deemed "fully healthy" following his recovery from the coronavirus:

"I'm gonna run down and probably plow over people in front of me and pick (my kids) up at same time if I can do it. I'm gonna squeeze those kids so hard when I see them. Hug my wife (Lauren) and hold on tight. .... I had two physical pictures of my children (in the hospital). One of my daughter and one of my son. When I'd wake up in a dark place, I'd look at them and it'd inspire me to keep going and keep fighting."

The 43-year-old Massachusetts native returned to the draft beat Thursday morning with a look at his biggest takeaways from the 2020 draft. He listed five teams as the biggest winners:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Cleveland Browns
  • New York Jets

McShay also discussed his five favorite Day 3 sleeper picks:

  • Kansas City Chiefs safety L'Jarius Sneed
  • Washington Redskins wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden
  • Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Joe Reed
  • Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver KJ Hill
  • Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Dezmon Patmon

"It was really hard to miss the 2020 NFL draft as I recovered from the coronavirus, but I am fortunate to be healthy now," he wrote. "I can't even express in words how much I appreciated all of the support. Thank you so much to everyone who reached out; it really meant a lot."

McShay joined ESPN in 2006 and has long worked alongside Mel Kiper Jr. as the network's top draft analysts. In recent years, they've often been featured next to each other during live draft coverage.

This year's NFL draft was held in a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic.