Sign up here to get Beyond the Back Page delivered to your inbox each weekday morning.
The NFL has relied upon free agents and the NBA upon its minor league system, along with plenty of veterans who had fallen out of the league. The NHL recently brought back taxi squads to allow ready-made fill-ins.
Professional sports leagues have bent and scraped and gotten creative to enable the seasons to go on, their wits slower than the spread of the coronavirus. But on Monday, the CDC changed the parameters of the fight the leagues were losing.
At a time when COVID-19 cases are spiking in the sports world more than ever – a record 106 NFL players went on the reserve list Monday, according to NFL Network — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention halved the recommended time for isolation for asymptomatic people with COVID-19 from 10 days to five days. The remaining five days, the CDC says, should include the infected individual wearing a mask around others, which presents another quandary for the leagues, but the revised recommendation is good news.