The NFL is pushing forward with the 2020 regular season as planned, making no concessions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a videoconference with all 32 clubs Friday, the league released a statement saying “all decisions will be made in an effort to put us in position to play a full regular season and postseason culminating with the Super Bowl,” and that this is a “shared goal of the clubs and players.”
We just wrapped up a productive call with the 32 clubs pic.twitter.com/sRn5Bnl33O— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 17, 2020
The league’s statement basically means they are not making any definitive decisions regarding the 2020 season just yet.
The announcement comes as many states with NFL teams — specifically Arizona, Florida and Texas — have been experiencing record rises in cases over the past few weeks, amplifying concerns about how clubs in those regions will be able to start training camps at the end of the month.
While the NFL has been relatively unbothered by the coronavirus during its offseason program, the league is facing its first bumps in the road as they try to come to agreements on testing and safety protocols with the NFLPA. Players also have concerns about how COVID-19 testing will impact contracts, and the exact number of preseason games that will be played.
Still, the players are adamant that they want to play this season, just in the safest way possible.
In the interest of having everyone on the same page in terms of what we know and don’t know at this time, here are a few things I’ve learned being on four NFLPA calls in the last two weeks with hundreds of other players.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 16, 2020
Keep in mind our rookies are scheduled to report in 48 hrs pic.twitter.com/wAH1XyQenf
It does seem to be a little late in the process for the league and players to be hashing out these grievances, but both sides seem to be confident they will iron out their differences in time to keep the season on schedule.
“We will continue to implement the health and safety protocols developed jointly with the NFLPA, and based on the advice of leading medical experts, including review by the CDC,” the league said.
The NFL is confident and holding firm as of mid-July, but as we have learned, things change fast in the era of COVID-19.