It’s worth repeating, since apparently it wasn’t noticed on Saturday, that there’s an “extremely small” chance that the NFL won’t play in 2020, and that the high degree of optimism is tied to an anticipated explosion in testing.
Here’s our story linking football to readily available testing, which presumably would be conducted every time anyone enters an NFL facility for meetings, practices, games, anything. The story also points out that the league believes stadiums could be open to fans, as of Week One.
The NFL is now getting the word out regarding the link between optimism and testing, via the league office’s pipeline to the Washington Post.
“The NFL’s vision for a full season that begins on time — or close to it — could be bolstered by nationwide advances in the coming months in the availability of coronavirus tests, people in and around the league say,” Mark Maske of the Post writes. “Some say they can envision the season being played with strict protocols for the testing of players and coaches, with cautious policies guiding health practices for fans in stadiums and with teams and owners accepting competitive disparities resulting from varying state and local restrictions.”
The league previously had been tight-lipped about the anticipated proliferation of reliable and efficient diagnostic and antibody tests. The fact that this leak came within 24 hours of the schedule release should be regarded as a subtle reminder that the NFL does indeed know what it’s doing here, with a plan for all contingencies but an overriding confidence that contingencies won’t be needed.
As explained on Saturday, a 2020 NFL season would be prevented only if “the information gleaned from fighting and studying the coronavirus to date [is] proven dramatically incorrect by future behavior of the virus and the illness it causes in the people who are infected by it.”
So as the official schedule release for the 2020 season approaches, it’s far from a hollow exercise. The NFL believes that there will be a 2020 season. And although I usually advise against wishing away the summer months in anticipation of the start of football season, this year is the one year I’d be happy to press fast forward to September 10.
Yes, NFL’s optimism is tied to anticipated explosion of testing originally appeared on Pro Football Talk