football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft

It’s Business As Usual, But What Does This Mean For 2020 NFL Season?

  • The Draft Network
  • May 10, 2020
  • Share

As I was trying to think of a lede to capture your attention, get you thinking about the upcoming NFL season — when or if there is a season — the first live sporting event since the NBA suspended its season on March 11 was airing on pay-per-view: UFC 249. 

Two men literally swapping sweat, among other things, during a global pandemic doesn’t personally bring me reassurance we will return to any sort of normalcy soon. But UFC, one of the only professional sports leagues, along with the NFL and WNBA, to resume its previously scheduled events, found a way to bring live sports back albeit brief. 

If sports leagues are looking at one another for how to navigate the current COVID-19 pandemic, UFC set an example Saturday. What becomes of it is yet to be determined. According to UFC president Dana White, 1,200 coronavirus tests were administered to 300 people this past week; of those 300 people, 24 were athletes and one tested positive. UFC immediately pulled Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza out of the lineup and moved forward with the event.

“It's not unexpected one person would test positive,” White said Friday, via ESPN. “The system works. And what's good about this is now we know Jacare tested positive, he's doing what he needs to do, and we're in a position to help him if he needs it.”

It seems so … easy, a word I hesitate to use when weighing live sports and the inevitable spread of a deadly respiratory virus that has already killed over 80,000 people in the United States since Sunday morning. I’m sure the NFL, and every other major sports league, would like to copy and paste what UFC did but replicating it when taking into account a 53-player roster, the steps it takes to whittle squads down to that number and the personnel needed to make it all happen will be extremely difficult and almost impossible to fathom without rapid, available testing and a vaccine. The NFL, however, has conducted business as usual. It followed the WNBA and had a virtual draft, released the official 2020 schedule — 17 weeks, 256 games all beginning Sept. 10 — and now has to take the next steps to attempt to start the season on time. 

“The release of the NFL schedule is something our fans eagerly anticipate every year, as they look forward with hope and optimism to the season ahead,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a written statement. “In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities.

“We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this off-season in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual off-season program, and the 2020 NFL draft.”

I’ve thought about what can give, where changes can be made, schedules altered, players, coaches, staff sequestered all for our entertainment. Any answers to those questions will be at the mercy of Goodell, who has since instructed executives not to discuss contingency plans regarding the upcoming season.

He said, in part, “uninformed commentary that speculates on how individual clubs or the league will address a range of hypothetical contingencies serves no constructive purpose and instead confuses our fans and business partners, complicates the operations of other clubs, and distracts from the careful planning that is needed right now.”

The NFL has begun implementing measures to get staff back into team facilities and safeguarding fans with a ticket refund plan for canceled games or games held without fans. Season ticket holders have already begun paying for a share of their tickets for the upcoming season and all Raiders’ home tickets are sold, according to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, who cited unidentified league sources. Other teams, such as the Jets, announced they would not be selling single-game tickets after the release of the schedule.

“Given the changing conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, individual game tickets will not go on sale [Thursday],” the Jets announced in a statement posted to Twitter. “We believe this is the prudent thing to do in order to provide the best experience and service for our fans at this time.”

Football, similar to the WNBA, had the luxury of starting later in the year. But as the days turn into months and time blends together in a fog, the start of the season is quickly approaching.

Teams would be wrapping up their rookie minicamp this weekend, the spring league meeting is scheduled for next week and mid-July marks the start of preseason training camp. Speculating what can happen between now and then is a fool’s errand, but more foolish would be thinking the NFL season can start as scheduled — with or without fans in stadiums.

Filed In

Related Articles

Written By

The Draft Network