The NFL released its latest COVID-19 numbers, and they continue to offer optimism that perhaps the league will make it through the 2020 season.
The regular season is scheduled to begin a week from Thursday.
“We’re not patting ourselves on the back yet,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We’re just at the eve of the season, and we’re looking to start and complete the season on time and complete, but in a very safe way for everybody who is participating.”
Goodell made a surprise appearance on a media conference call Tuesday. Much of Goodell’s nine minutes were spent on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier Tuesday, the NFL release announced COVID-19 testing results between Aug. 21-29. Of the 58,621 tests given to 8,739 players and team personnel over that span, only 10 came back positive. Four of those positives came on 23,279 tests administered to players while the other six came via 35,342 tests of other team personnel.
“We have been really fortunate,” Goodell said. “The cases of COVID-19 are very low across the league. It is a testament to the plans but most importantly to the diligence to the players, the teams and their staffs. I would tell you that we still have more work to do. We are not going to get comfortable. We will remain vigilant, resilient and flexible and basically adapt to circumstances as needed with public health as our No. 1 priority as we have all this offseason.”
Goodell said the league is learning “at every opportunity.”
During a meeting with ownership on the advice of its medical advisors, the NFL tweaked some of its testing protocols, travel protocols and access to the locker room by non-players.
“I think the big thing for us, again, is not to get comfortable,” Goodell said. “The protocols are working. But we’re dealing with a lot of uncertainty here. This is a pandemic that we’re still learning about. We’ve had to put together an entire infrastructure of testing across our league, getting results very quickly, but we really have to obviously adapt to the medical community here and rely on our experts that have been wonderful in putting together this plan. But now as you’re executing on you, you have to be willing to adapt to that, and you have to change. We’ve already made changes in our protocols, made changes to our testing. We will looking to further changes to our testing as we get into the regular season. We’ll be getting into new aspects with traveling that we have to be focused on.”
Roger Goodell on COVID-19 numbers: We’re not patting ourselves on the back yet originally appeared on Pro Football Talk