BRAWLEY — The NFL recently released a statement announcing the cancellation of the entire 2020 preseason and gave hindsight into the leagues short-term plans moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter written by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league — in partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) — expressed a shared goal of playing a healthy 2020 season. While the cancellation of all 2020 preseason games was a result of those efforts, and all 32 teams are reporting to training camp this week, the processes are in place for the regular season to begin on time.
“Every step of the way, our focus has been of the safety of players, coaches, personnel, fans, and our communities,” wrote Goodell. “Our planning has followed the lead of medical experts and public health officials, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the White House Task Force, governors, and state health officials. As we have developed our 2020 playbook for the return of football, safety continues to be our first priority; that commitment will remain paramount as players return to the field.”
According to Goodell, the NFL in 2020 will not look like other years.
“Players and coaches will be tested for the virus regularly, including every day for a while,” wrote Goodell. “Preseason games have been canceled. Everyone in the team environment must follow rigorous health and safety protocols to keep themselves and each other safe.”
As per the NFL, once there is a positive COVID-19 test, strict regulations will be enforced to isolate and care for the infected individual and to contain the virus before it spreads.
“Even the sideline will look different,” wrote Goodell. “State and local guidelines will help determine whether fans will attend games. These adjustments are necessary to reduce the risk of everyone involved.”