ESPN's Todd McShay describes 'dark' place during COVID-19 hospital stay

ESPN’s NFL Insider analyst Todd McShay shared the details of being hospitalized with COVID-19 since he missed the 2020 NFL Draft and said he’s now “fully healthy.”

McShay spoke with ESPN’s Adam Schefter for his podcast about the “really dark” times in the hospital, how he felt he let everyone down by missing the most important day of his work year and going 40 days without seeing his family.

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McShay: ‘Really dark’ during COVID-19 hospital stay

Hours before the draft, which reached record ratings while held virtually due to the pandemic, McShay announced he would not be a part of the broadcast since he had contracted the virus. He said he was at home recovering.

In his conversation with Schefter, he said he was hospitalized with a mild case, but because it was his busy season he was more vulnerable to illness. He said the coughing and fever were difficult, but the exhaustion is what hit the worse.

“It’s hard to explain the exhaustion level,” he said, via USA Today. “That would be the biggest takeaway in terms of what it did to me physically.”

McShay, 43, compared it to summer football workouts when he was at the University of Richmond, but said COVID-19 was much worse. Just sending a text or appearing on TV was exhausting and he said he slept through scheduled TV hits.

McShay is a staple of ESPN’s draft coverage with Mel Kiper Jr. and has been with the company since 2006. He said it was heartbreaking to miss the event and he couldn’t bring himself to watch it live.

"I got really dark in the hospital," McShay said. “I knew the draft was going on and I couldn’t watch it. I didn’t watch the draft until Saturday night. I woke up late that night and there was a re-air and I started watching it then because I knew it was over. For whatever reason, I couldn’t watch the draft knowing that I wasn’t a part of it, wasn’t on it, and I felt like I was letting everyone down."

There is no rush to return to work, he said, and the “way-too-early mock draft can wait a little bit.”

Analyst away from family during COVID-19

McShay spoke with Schefter before seeing his family for the first time in nearly 40 days while he quarantined in his Boston home.

"I'm gonna run down and probably plow over people in front of me and pick [my kids] up at same time if I can do it," McShay said. "I'm gonna squeeze those kids so hard when I see them. Hug my wife [Lauren] and hold on tight. .... I had two physical pictures of my children [in the hospital]. One of my daughter and one of my son. When I'd wake up in a dark place, I'd look at them and it'd inspire me to keep going and keep fighting."

As he did in his initial statement in April, McShay thanked the healthcare workers and first responders who are putting themselves at risk to help others during the pandemic.

Todd McShay shared the difficulties he faced after contracting COVID-19. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

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