Throughout 2020, COVID-19 has shown fans of the NFL that some things are more important than playing football. When the league heard the story of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead, that lesson became even clearer.
The 23-year-old ball carrier has been hospitalized twice in 2020 due to coronavirus complications. Jacksonville placed Armstead on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in September, and he has not practiced or played since. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he is expected to miss the remainder of the year.
Armstead’s story came as a shock to many, including his former Jaguars’ teammate Calais Campbell. In a virtual interview with reporters on Monday, the now Ravens defensive end spoke honestly about his reaction to his friend’s diagnosis.
“I talked to him, because we’re pretty good friends, too, just through text and stuff, and it sounded like he’s in pretty good spirits and he felt pretty good where he’s at right now. That definitely helped me out a lot, because I was worried about him. You hear the reports…”
“But, man, this is a serious thing we’re dealing with,” Campbell said.
"For it to be severe and harmful to one person is too many."
A little more here on #Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell reacting to reports that Jaguars RB Ryquell Armstead, a former teammate, has been hospitalized twice due to coronavirus complications:https://t.co/FUh30A9hbQ
— Aaron Kasinitz (@AaronKazreports) October 26, 2020
Campbell continued to speak about how hearing of Armstead’s battle with COVID-19 showed him just how severe the virus can be.
“We’re going through the process and having protocols to try to be as safe as possible…” Campbell said. “I try my hardest not to catch it. And so many guys around the NFL have. For it to be severe and harmful to one person is too many. But you just gotta go through the process. But I just try to follow the protocols and try to be as safe as possible.”
“It’s scary,” he said. “It puts things into perspective.”
Players and fans around the NFL continue to wish Armstead a full and quick recovery.