When we talk about sports in 2020, the word "bubble" comes up often.
The NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB utilized this type of isolation successfully in order to complete their seasons, but it doesn't seem like the NFL is enthusiastic about enacting a bubble environment.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell revealed Wednesday that the league is considering lots options for the postseason. However, a bubble isn't one of them.
“I don’t see us doing a bubble in the sense that I think a lot of the media focuses on it,” Goodell said, according to Pro Football Talk. “We may look at ways to reduce the risks to our personnel, whether it is players, coaches or other personnel, that would limit exposures.”
If the NFL was going to enact a bubble, it would've done so before the season began to prevent the spread of COVID-19 entirely.
The reality is, it would be extremely difficult to house a number of teams in the same location for an entire season, including the playoffs. NFL teams have more players, coaches, staff members and trainers than any other professional sports league in the United States. Putting them all in one location isn't feasible.
“We don’t see the bubble as most refer to it in one location. We feel strongly our protocols are working,” Goodell said, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “We’re willing to adjust and adapt those protocols, take additional steps. But I don’t see us doing the bubble in the sense that the media focuses on it.”
However, the league could mandate team-specific bubbles for the postseason, meaning protocols will be far more strict, and players may have to stay in team-provided housing for as long as that team is in the playoffs.
Goodell could even have teams that are likely to make the playoffs, like the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers, begin quarantining before the regular season is even over.
Whatever the case may be, the NFL needs to figure it out quickly, especially with about a month left of the regular season.