The HBO series Hard Knocks: Los Angeles premiered on Tuesday night and began with Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn making a big announcement. During a Zoom meeting with his players, Lynn revealed he tested positive for COVID-19. He is the third NFL coach to announce he has the coronavirus, following Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints and Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles.
"This year is not like any year we've ever had in the National Football League," Lynn said. "I can't promise you you're not gonna get infected. I got infected." Lynn, 51 has not talked to reporters about his positive test but is set to meet with the media on Friday, according to ESPN. Later in the episode, Lynn was seen talking to team psychologist Dr. Herb Martin, who was surprised by Lynn's announcement.
"I didn't know you had the virus," Martin said. Lynn responded, "Yeah, I didn't tell nobody." Lynn said he was dealing with body aches and coughing, which led to him getting tested. The focus of the first episode of Hard Knocks: Los Angeles was focused on testing and safety protocols at the Chargers and Los Angeles Rams facilities. Both teams as well as the 30 other teams in the league are getting ready to play a full season in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic.
"You have two opponents on your schedule this year," Lynn said. "You have your schedule, and you have COVID, and both game plans are equally important, and COVID might be even more important." It was also revealed that Rams rookie linebacker Terrell Lewis tested positive for COVID-19. The team placed him on COVID/Injured reserve last month but didn't confirm if he tested positive for COVID-19.
"Look no further than the Marlins. I hate to see that. I love sports," Rams head coach SeanMcVay told his players during the episode. "But things happen when you don't make good decisions outside of the ecosystem or the arena that we have put forthright here. We've got to keep this ecosystem right." HBO is taking a look at the Rams and Chargers as both teams will be playing in the brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Chargers will start the season on Sept. 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Rams will start their season on the same day and face the Dallas Cowboys.