The NFL is reportedly coming under fire from within over its curious handling of coronavirus outbreaks recently affecting several teams.
Team executives and some players are apparently questioning the league's seemingly different responses to recent episodes involving the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens, according to Bleacher Report.
One "personnel executive" said the league had a double-standard for the teams, Kalyn Kahler reported, with the Ravens' game being postponed several times while the Broncos were made to play their game as scheduled -- with a practice-squad skill player at quarterback.
The NFL "made an example" of the Broncos, the exec said -- a charge made by many observers recently, including Denver QB Drew Lock's mother.
"The Broncos, they were stupid, the QBs didn't have their mask on," the executive reportedly said. "But with no QBs, they made an example out of them, let's just be honest. But they have not made an example out of the Ravens, and it was also their own doing!
"They are making adjustments for one team, and it just seems way out of bounds because everybody else is getting hammered."
A Denver source was more blunt, the report said.
"The league is f--ked up."
One AFC player told a group chat of fellow players that the Broncos' quarterback situation was a "shocker," according to the article.
"Unbelievable they had to go play a professional game with WRs and RBs," the player reportedly said.
The story said teams and coaches have since been scrambling to add potential "quarantine quarterbacks" -- players with professional experience who would remain in relative isolation and only be called upon to play in the event of a scenario like the one confronting the Broncos.
Denver signal-callers Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles were all prohibited from playing in the blowout loss to the Saints after being considered high-risk, close contacts of fellow QB Jeff Driskel, who was placed on the COVID/reserve list on Nov. 26.
The players were fined after it was revealed they had failed to wear their masks in meetings after coming in contact with Driskel. Coach Vic Fangio has since said the team will likely designate a quarantine QB moving forward, probably Bortles.
The Ravens, despite the alleged preferential treatment, lost their rescheduled game to Pittsburgh on the surreal Wednesday Afternoon Football. With reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson on the COVID/reserve list, the team started former Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III at quarterback.
The Broncos put obscure practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton in the position of trying to lead the offense, a tall chore that ended with the team narrowly avoiding a shoutout -- and being outgained in passing yards by Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley.
Hinton, a high school QB who converted to wideout at Wake Forest, completed just one pass for 13 yards.