The NFL Today

The long and winding road.  

National Football League owners and players are about ready to meet reality. NFL training camps are scheduled to open soon and COVID-19 transmission rates are incredibly high in many states that house NFL teams. Can players safely report to training camps in California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin? Eighteen teams play in those states. NFL training camps are scheduled to open on July 28th. The Carolina Panthers franchise has a portion of its training camp scheduled in South Carolina while the Las Vegas Raiders franchise will some spend time in Napa, California. The NFL has already eliminated two weeks of pre-season games and there will not be a Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Pro Football Hall of Fame will not have an induction ceremony.

In June, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the NFL might not be able to get its season going. “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.” The National Football League is pushing ahead with the schedule. So much so that some NFL teams are thinking about having customers in the stands watching product with limits on how many people can be in the stands. But that probably will not happen in Philadelphia as public health officials in that city have canceled large public events until February. The Philadelphia Eagles along with the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball franchise can play games in empty stadiums. This is the NFL today.

This photo provided by Oakley shows a new face shield designed by Oakley. With NFL training camps set to start at the end of the month, the league believes it is closer to one answer when it comes to player safety in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Face shields for the players’ helmets. (Oakley via AP)