With training camps in the NFL set to open in just over a month and the United States hitting a new record for new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the feasibility of exactly how the league will be able to execute its 2020 season remains.
According to Tim Graham of TheAthletic.com, safety Micah Hyde and kicker Stephen Hauschka of the Buffalo Bills are among the players that are scratching their heads over how the NFL will handle the upcoming campaign.
“I want to see where things go in the next month or so, but seeing all these spikes across the country and all these college teams with outbreaks is not good,” Hyde said.
The NFL will not be trying to create an isolated environment as the MLS and NBA are attempting in Florida. They will be in their home cities and attempting to play a regular season schedule as close to normal as possible. Avoiding the virus altogether would appear to be impossible and could instead become an effort to mitigate its impact as much as possible. That effort will take the vigilance of players, coaches, front office personnel, trainers, physicians, referees and more in order for the games to be played this fall.
And even then it’s an effort that may not be successful in a contact sports such as football.
“How do you run a fair season when it’s a realistic possibility this can come through your locker room?” Hauschka said. “A quarter or half the team can test positive.
“It is going to be a fragile dynamic. If a team runs into issues and needs to have a bunch of players sit out, or maybe an older staff member runs into serious health problems, those are things that could really throw a wrench into the whole season.”
If large numbers of players begin to test positive and have to miss games, the season itself may end up being less about the competition on the field and more about the players who aren’t able to be on it. There are still so many unknowns about the undertaking ahead for the NFL. Hyde isn’t sure the league is equipped to pull it off successfully at this point.
“I don’t think I trust the league yet because you just need to look at society,” Hyde said. “More people keep getting infected.
“There needs to be a detailed outline of how things are going to work. There’s a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed before we get to training camp. I don’t know if that’s even possible.”
Micah Hyde, Stephen Hauschka wary of how NFL will be able to handle virus originally appeared on Pro Football Talk