- According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL remains “highly optimistic” that the 2020 season will be played.
- The NFL is reportedly optimistic about the season based on their understanding of how the virus is most commonly spread. The NFL’s plan for players is to prevent high exposure areas like the weight room and confined space.
- Florio mentions that the league expects players will comply with rules aimed at keeping them from getting the virus and transmission on a practice field or during a game will be minimal. Although, Florio admits the NFL recognizes this will happen, but they believe it’s a situation that can be managed quickly.
- Beyond that, the NFL is “very confident” that players will not be susceptible to a bad outcome should they catch the virus.
- There is still concern for coaches, who are older and have had health issues that increase their overall risk.
- As for testing, Florio explains that the NFL is confident that rapid-response saliva-based testing will be available before the season begins and they plan to spend millions of dollars on it.
- Florio says that there’s less optimism that fans will be present for any of the games this year.
- A season without fans would clearly have financial ramifications for the league and should result in a lower 2021 salary cap. However, Florio writes that losses wouldn’t be too staggering, seeing as the bulk of the NFL’s revenue comes from televising games and it would make sense for ratings to increase in a year that sports have largely been absent.
- Albert Breer of SI mentions that there is a possibility of the NFL having a reserve list specifically for players who are being affected by COVID-19.
- According to Breer, players could be tested prior to games, and any players who test positive will likely be required to miss at least two weeks.
- The NFL has met and discussed the likelihood of expanding practice squads from 10 to 16 players. Breer says that teams will need the ability to backfill their rosters in the case of a small outbreak amongst its players.
- Teams are currently allowed a roster exemption of up to six players through the NFL’s contagious disease policy, according to Breer.
On Saturday, the NFLPA issued the following statement asking that players no longer workout with teammates on their own after a number of teams have had players test positive for COVID-19.
“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts,” NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer writes. “Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.