Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett missed the team’s road game against the Los Angeles Rams after testing positive for COVID-19, marking his first gameday absence since his leg fracture ended his 2016 season just two weeks before the playoffs. Lockett is one of literally hundreds of players who have contracted the virus just within the past month or so, as the Omicron variant rips through the world at rapid pace.
In a press conference earlier this week, Lockett revealed his experience with COVID and while he wasn’t hospitalized, the virus nevertheless took a toll on his body.
“It was very exhausting,” said Lockett (via Seahawks.com). “I could barely move. My throat was hurting. I had chills. My chest was hurting. I was very, very anxious. My mind was just wandering because I was probably thinking too much. I was throwing up. I threw up the first day a couple times, but just once after that, I just had no energy, so I was barely eating. I think I lost like eight pounds.
“I was just tired and exhausted. I don’t want to say I had breathing problems, but I couldn’t fully breathe out of my chest like I wanted to. You know how you just get that big air? Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn’t. Again, I felt like I was good with breathing. It was just very unfortunate. I was out for a whole week.”
Lockett was vaccinated at the time he tested positive, but had not yet received his booster shot, which provides the best possible protection against both infection and hospitalization. It looks as if Omicron is chopping down the two-dose efficacy against infection, but vaccination is still working well to prevent severe illness.
It is worth noting that last season, with no vaccine available at the time, Lockett had considered opting out due to a heart condition and a history of asthma in his family. He ultimately did play the 2020 season and became the first Seahawks player to ever record 100 catches in a season.
But let this final quote from Tyler serve as a reminder that these are human beings first and foremost and athletes second.
“It makes you frustrated as an individual, because when you’ve dealt with the symptoms of COVID-19, and you’ve seen how it was on you, it’s like, we really don’t know how it’s going to affect other people,” he said. “For me, yeah it sucked seeing people say, ‘Is Tyler going to play? Is Tyler going to play? I need him to help my fantasy.’ I’m just trying to make it through this. People forget, people just see COVID-19 as whatever, but if you actually get it or you go through it or other people in your family go through it, you see how detrimental it is and you see how people do die from this stuff. That’s why I said for me, it’s unfortunate that I couldn’t play, but I’m also thankful that I was able to still be here and still enjoy my life and all that different type of stuff too.”