The NFL has plans to begin their upcoming season on time, but Dr. Anthony Fauci has a less than optimistic view on that happening.
On Wednesday Fauci spoke to CNN saying, “Unless players are essentially in a bubble – insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day – it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall. If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”
Both the NBA and MLS are planning to resume their seasons at some point in July. Players will be in a bubble, but the NFL has not yet publicly discussed that as an option. College football has not discussed this option either, though it seems like that would be difficult to handle for college teams on school campuses, as well.
On Thursday, the chief medical officer of the NFL, Dr. Allen Sills told ESPN, “Dr. Fauci has identified the important health and safety issues we and the NFL Players Association, together with our joint medical advisors, are addressing to mitigate the health risk to players, coaches, and other essential personnel.” He went on to say, “We are developing a comprehensive and rapid-result testing program and rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everyone inside our football ecosystem. This is based on the collective guidance of public health officials, including the White House task force, the CDC, infectious disease experts, and other sports leagues.”
Sills did not downplay how difficult returning during coronavirus could be. Sills said, “We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel, and attendees. We will be flexible and adaptable in this environment to adjust to the virus as needed.”
The current plan is for training camps to open in late July and the season to begin as scheduled with the Texans vs Kansas City on September 10.