Don’t expect to see the NFL copy the NBA’s bubble plan in order to play this fall.
NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said Wednesday that the league sees no need to play in a bubble, stating that extensive testing and contact tracing should be sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among players and staff.
On call today, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said: “We do not feel it’s practical or appropriate to construct a bubble.” League will rely on robust contact tracing, education, testing. “Anyone who tests positive will be isolated until medically appropriate to return.”
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 17, 2020
In other words, the plan is still for all 32 teams to be able to play in their home stadiums in the fall. That may well happen without fans in attendance, but it’s still a far cry from what the NBA is doing.
There are lots of reasons for this. It’s not really as practical to have NFL teams in that sort of environment, given that teams are larger and games take longer, with the NFL schedule wildly different from the NBA’s. Add in the protocols the NBA is instituting and it’s easy to see why the NFL would prefer to avoid that.