The 2020 NFL season is less than two months away, with teams now preparing for training camp and another exciting year of football. However, as the league continues moving forward, there is more concern than ever about playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out of the 2020 season, many of his peers have followed in his footsteps. As players begin expressing greater concern about playing, that sentiment is reportedly shared by many executives and coaches.
The 2020 NFL kicks off in nearly three weeks and it’s more likely than ever that the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs will take the field on Sept. 10. While games are scheduled to be played, many around the NFL seem strongly opposed to the season even happening.
According to Sportico’s Mike Freeman, many coaches, general managers and team officials are against playing football during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I don't think people understand just how many NFL GMs, other front office officials and coaches believe having an NFL season during a pandemic is dead wrong.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) July 28, 2020
The dangers of playing sports amid a pandemic, especially outside of a quarantine bubble, have already been highlighted by MLB. The Miami Marlins had 11 players test positive for the coronavirus and it forced the postponement of multiple games. Even more concerning, Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez now has a heart issue caused by COVID-19. Yet, MLB intends to push forward with its season.
The NFL is a contact sport, increasing the potential exposure to the virus, and there are far more players and coaches for the league to worry about. While the NFL is prepared to pay a staggering amount for COVID-19 testing and is making strict protocols, it still might not be enough to prevent an outbreak.
Ultimately, there are very real risks of sports returning and teams traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many players, coaches and executives might be against it happening, the NFL will push forward with so much money at stake if a season is canceled.