NFL Season Cancel: With the 2020 season scheduled to start in 33 days, NFL fans remain uncertain about whether or not the season will happen.
The NFL has been blessed with the luxury of time. They have had the chance to witness almost every major sports league around the globe attempt to get back to action in a COVID-19 world.
There is one factor that sets the NFL apart from the rest of these leagues, though. None of the other sports involve a training camp with 80+ players, not to mention the coaching staff, medical teams, and all the other people who are necessary for a pro football team to function.
This number will eventually be cut down to a 53 man roster, which is still a huge number when you consider that they all have to share a single locker room.
The problem the NFL faces, therefore, is an obvious one. With such large team sizes, how will they prevent a coronavirus outbreak? So far, the precautions put in place by the league have left fans, players, and staff members unconvinced.
Opinions around the league: Should the 2020 season happen?
As of August 8th, a whopping 69 players have already opted out of the 2020 season. To make matters worse, a number of players who haven’t opted out still have reservations about playing this year.
Detroit Lions linebacker Jamie Collins said that he wished he had more time to make his decision. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Collins said “You never know the situation, so obviously if we had more time it’s good for the players, but we didn’t have much time.”
Odell Beckham Jr. also held nothing back when he expressed his displeasure at the league’s decision to allow the season to happen. Although he won’t sit out, it is definitely a bad look for the NFL, considering that OBJ has been one of the main faces of the league for the last 5 years.
Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t think the NFL should come back this season. Just before attending training camp, Beckham told the Wall Street Journal, “We’re not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward?”https://t.co/F6JwCIgONE
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 3, 2020
Head coaches, too, have expressed their concerns. Even though the Steelers reported that none of their players have opted out, head coach Mike Tomlin said that he was uncertain the season will actually happen. His Philadelphia counterpart, Doug Peterson, has tested positive for COVID-19, which definitely helped prove Tomlin’s point.
What comes next for NFL?
There isn’t much NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can do. Even if the season does start, there is always the possibility it will have to be suspended midway through. Anyone who is taking part in the 2020 season will have to accept that they are taking a risk by participating.
The nature of the game makes it near impossible for the league to guarantee any kind of safety for its players. When 10 linemen are breathing straight into each other’s faces for 60 minutes, banning them from going to an indoor bar afterwards probably won’t make much of a difference.
For now, the season is all set to kickoff on September 10th at Arrowhead Stadium, but the situation is extremely volatile. A lot of things can, and most likely will, change in the next 33 days.