All of us football fans out there are all thinking the same thing: is there going to be a season this year? If so, how will the NFL prevent the spread of the virus with such a high contact sport? Unfortunately, the only available answer is uncertainty, but will have more answers in the upcoming months. Lets take a closer look at what the NFL and NFLPA are doing to ensure us fans can watch NFL Sunday again this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um5Ud1DAovI
First, every organization in the NFL and the NFLPA are doing their best to keep their players and staff healthy for the upcoming season. The medical staff is allowed to test any members of the organization for COVID-19 and are keeping all visits in-house to prevent any further exposure. You may have even heard of a piece of equipment called a “splash shield,” that is currently being reviewed by the NFL to ensure the players stay safe on the field and prevent a further spread of the virus. https://www.wbrc.com/2020/06/10/helmet-splash-shield-helps-prevent-spread-covid-/ Currently, the NFL is developing a system like the NBA, to test players and check temperatures before each game. In the meantime, they’ve instructed their players to limit their exposure. With the NBA’s return at the end month, I believe this is the first step of whether high contact sports are still a possibility this year as COVID-19 cases rise again.
The NFL announced this week that they are shortening the preseason to only two games instead of four this year. They are cutting week 1 and 4 from the preseason and are still reviewing the safety protocols for training camps starting July 28th. Luckily, the preseasons biggest reason for cancelling the two weeks wasn’t due to COVID-19 concerns, but players lack of being able to train during the off-season months. For more info on the shorten NFL preseason click here. https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29395143/nfl-shortens-preseason-just-two-weeks-league-continues-plot-2020-strategy
Depending on the spread of the virus by September, its my personal belief that the NFL may have to look into a shorten season as well. Possible solutions to limiting exposure would be only having teams play their conference games to determine some sort of playoff that only allows each conference champ to be in (basically getting rid of wildcards and first round bye’s). The NFL may want to consider only allowing games to be played outside for this year to decrease the risk of possibly spreading of the virus.
All us fans can do for now is stay home and stay safe, so we may wake up on a Sunday morning ready to watch our favorite teams play again. Please comment below how you feel the NFL should handle the current COVID-19 dilemma its facing? What would you suggest on how the NFL and NFLPA could ensure a safer way to play america’s favorite sport?
Thanks for reading.