NFL fully expects to have coronavirus cases
The NFL is hoping to carry out the 2020 season as usual, though there is no delusion that it will come without incident. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to affect sports, even if they’re played without fans — something the league is already planning for:
“We fully expect that we will have positive cases,” NFL executive V.P. of communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller said during a Tuesday conference call with reporters. “Our challenge is to identify them as quickly as possible and to prevent spread to any other participants.”
The sheer size of an NFL roster has the potential for contagion, even if there’s only 256 games to be played in the regular season — a much shorter list than what other leagues like the NBA and the MLB hope to play when their sports resume.
This however, will require extensive testing to ensure the outbreak does not spread to other players and staff, as well as keeping contact to a minimum when possible.
The league thinks testing protocols will have advanced by the time training camp and the preseason starts, as well as kits being readily available for their players. Knowing who has contracted the novel coronavirus is massively important if the NFL is to carry business as usual, as eerie as it might be with social distancing practices and other alterations.
The 2020 season will be an odd one, there is no doubt about it. Teams will also need a way to quickly replace players who have contracted the virus. If gone uncaught, missed a string of players could cause a major blow for an NFL team hoping to go in healthy against their opponent.