Patrick Peterson's diabetes could impact decision to play during pandemic

Living with diabetes might force Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson to decide whether or not to play should the NFL return to action this season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Peterson, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes during the 2014 season, said Thursday that if the proper protocols are followed, such as temperature checks and wearing masks and gloves, then he'll be comfortable playing when and if the NFL decides to play. The league has canceled all on-field practices thus far this offseason.

"If I feel that if that's the safest thing possible for us to be able to come back to work, I'm all-in," Peterson said during a call with reporters. "But if it's not, obviously I have to make -- not I, we all have to make a very, very smart decision because you don't want to have the opportunity to bringing that back home.

"So, that's the biggest thing we [can] do is make sure that we're smart. I know the NFL is doing everything that they can, but it's just so tough to put a finger on it on how to evolve around this virus."

Living with diabetes, Peterson, 29, doesn't face an increased chance of acquiring the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, but he does face a greater risk of serious complications arising from the virus, according to American Diabetes Association guidance. However, the ADA says that "your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-managed."

Peterson is able to get medical advice from the comforts of his home.

His wife, Antonique, is currently doing her residency for medical school in a Phoenix-area intensive care unit. Peterson shared a post celebrating his wife and all medical professionals early in the pandemic.

Having her on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic has been "very, very stressful" and "emotionally draining," Peterson said.

"[It] is extremely difficult dealing with some of the situations that she has to deal with," he said. "But with her being a doctor, she's definitely been on top of everything that she needs to be on top of as far as being safe with the masks, doing everything that she needs to do to make sure that she doesn't bring it home."

Peterson said they've figured out a routine for Antonique when she comes home. She doesn't enter the house with her work clothes on, instead going to their casita, where she showers and changes her clothes.

"She has like her own mini locker room right now in the house," Peterson said.

"The advice that she's given us as a household is definitely social distance is, by far, No. 1, and just making sure that all surfaces that you touch or [are] going to be around is clean and making sure that you wash [your] hands as much as possible so you just have to make sure you do your part to understand the [gravity] this virus has and how it can affect not only your life but the people around you as well. So, you just have to be smart and just hopefully this deal will roll over and we can come back to some normal lifestyle."

Peterson called Antonique "one of the strongest women that I've ever seen." The couple has a 4-year-old and a newborn.

"We just have to make sure that we're smart, especially having kids," Peterson said, "because kids like to touch everything and put hands in the mouth, and do all this, put their face on everything, so we just have to make sure that we continue to preach those steps to the oldest."