Amid Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season, the NFL will postpone the Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game as multiple Titans players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
While the development obviously directly affects those within the Titans and Steelers organizations, it's a development felt throughout the NFL ranks.
For Indianapolis Colts standout linebacker Darius Leonard, the news furthered the emphasis on players making responsible decisions and holding each other within the locker room accountable.
"Us as the Colts, we always think about doing the right thing. We gotta put ourselves in a great situation. You don't go out. You don't do anything crazy," Leonard told the NFL Network's Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter on the Huddle & Flow podcast earlier this week. "You're washing your hands, making sure you have less family coming in and out just so you won't have no problems. We gotta continue to do what we can do. And that is staying clean, make sure we're washing our hands. Wearing a mask. Taking every little step that we have to take to make it through this season to make sure everybody's staying healthy. And that always just comes back to the locker room."
The Titans and Steelers are each 3-0 and no doubt have high aspirations, just as Leonard and the Colts (2-1) do.
Leonard believes it is up to the players, ultimately, to strive for a successful season and choose achieving that success over making the wrong everyday decision that could put their health in jeopardy during the ongoing pandemic.
"It's about the players. You gotta have players that say, 'OK, we got to stick together.' Yes you want to go out, you want to go have fun. But there's so much of a bigger goal that we're trying to reach," Leonard said. "And if you have everybody in the locker room wanting to reach that same goal and willing to risk family time, willing to risk going out on a date or anything being involved or seeing other people. You gotta be able to say, 'OK, I cannot do this because of the team.' You gotta put the team before anything right now."
Looking forward and being responsible is the message Leonard believes can be taken from the situation. However, upon first hearing the news of the game's initial postponement, he conveyed that many questioned what was next for everyone directly involved.
"It definitely sucks. It's the first one during the season that this is happening," Leonard said. "Once you hear it, everyone's asking questions. What's gonna happen? We just want to know. Are they still gonna play? Do the other teams still get to play? Then you bring in the money situation. Do you get paid if they don't play? These are all things you think about."