NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills discussed a number of topics on a conference call with the media Wednesday, including Steelers-Ravens and the possibility of postseason bubbles for the NFL Playoffs.
With regards to the Ravens outbreak that caused their game with the Steelers to be rescheduled three times, Goodell told reporters that the league intended to postpone the game until the outbreak was deemed contained, which they believe took until Wednesday to be the case.
Roger Goodell says on conference call Ravens game was postponed until the NFL believed the spread of the virus was contained. Reiterates that they will play even if multiple position groups are compromised if they believe spread has been contained (like in Denver)— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 2, 2020
Supporting the league’s claim that the spread is under control, Dr. Sills added that they are confident there is “no active infection” amongst Ravens players and staff at Heinz Field today.
Dr. Allen Sills confirms all of the Ravens' point-of-care tests came back negative today. "Can say with confidence no active infection on Ravens sideline today," Sills said.— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) December 2, 2020
As for the NFL Playoffs, Goodell said that the league is “considering a number of alternatives” to their traditional postseason format, including a variety of potential bubble formats.
When asked specifically about those bubbles, Goodell assured that league feels their protocols are working successfully, and apparently dismissed the idea of an NBA-style bubble in a single location.
Now Goodell throwing some cold water on the bubble idea, at least not in the sense that most people think of it, he says. Possible limit to the number of people who come into contact with players but no NBA-style lockdown: "We feel strongly that our protocols are working."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 2, 2020
Instead each team would likely have their own individual bubbles in hotels, significantly further limiting outside contacts with players and staff.
Lastly, Dr. Sills affirmed that the league will not “cut the line” for a future COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. The first available vaccines will likely be designated strictly for front line workers and high-risk groups.
Dr. Allen Sills makes clear the NFL won’t “cut the line” on the looming COVID-19 vaccine. For those wondering.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 2, 2020