Undefeated Seahawks’ next test: Navigating bye week in COVID era
The Seahawks have passed the first five weeks of the NFL season with flying colors.
They’re the first team in the league to reach five wins, their quarterback is the early leader in the MVP race, and perhaps most importantly, they’ve been able to avoid any issues regarding COVID-19. And with a bye week coming up, it will only get easier, right?
Not so fast. In fact, that may prove to be the biggest challenge yet in the COVID era. You could even say it’s akin to a trap game on their schedule.
The 5-0 Seahawks are in the second group of teams to reach their byes this season (Detroit and Green Bay were off in Week 5), and there’s really no telling how things will go as it’s still very much uncharted territory in the NFL.
“This is a crucial time for us. It’s crucial because this is the first time we’ve had a week here where guys will be on their own,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Monday’s Pete Carroll Show. “… This for us is (our) first official bye break ever in COVID season, so we’ve never done this before. I like having everything prepared, (where) we’ve already been there before so we know what it is and how we’re doing it. Well, this is one we can’t, so we kind of have to orchestrate this thing.”
The NFL has already dealt with setbacks stemming from the pandemic, with games featuring the Patriots, Chiefs, Broncos, Steelers and Titans having been impacted by positive COVID tests. While Seattle has avoided any issues, Carroll knows now is not the time to let up as it pertains to his team staying clear of the virus.
“What we need is for our guys to have an extraordinary conscience again in every single step,” he said. “Every moment of their day is orchestrated so they can’t put themselves in harm’s way. I know everybody wants to do that and we’ll be preaching the heck out of it, our leaders will be preaching the heck out of it and anybody who makes sense out of this mess we’re in will work to get that accomplished.”
Carroll hopes procedure and circumstance will help his team stay healthy.
“Guys still have to test every day, so we’re still connected in that regard. I would imagine a lot of guys will work out and will be around the facility and all because they can’t go home, can’t take off and all that,” he said.
The Seahawks are scheduled to return to play after their bye on Sunday, Oct. 23 against the Cardinals on Arizona.
You can hear Carroll’s full comments in the podcast at this link or in the player below.