2020 NFL Season: Health, and Safety Concerns

So what can we expect from the NFL as far as new protocols and safely regulations related to the world’s latest disaster, SARS-2 COVID 19?

We are just a little over a month away from regular-season NFL football and pre-season kicks off in just a few weeks.

So what can we expect from the NFL as far as new protocols and safely regulations related to the world’s latest disaster, SARS-2 COVID 19?

The Sports Techie community blog understands the need for all those associated with the National Football League to know that Commissioner Goodell, who sits on President’s Trumps sports business reopening committee, has a well thought out, science and medical expert-driven, training camp and regular season COVID-19 plan which as of now has not been approved by the NFLPA.

NFL COVID-19 Safety Roadblocks

With the latest waves of novel coronavirus smashing into proverbial shores around the world, more and more uncertainty about the immediate future abounds. So much that sportsbooks like 5dimes [Full review] are taking bets on whether or not the 2020 NFL season will get canceled.

Right at the top of the NFL Operations webpage, it says, ‘Together with the NFLPA, the NFL works to ensure players receive medical care and that policies and protocols are informed by input from medical experts.’

But they haven’t updated this with any information regarding COVID 19. Everything in the health and safety pages refers to equipment and regulations to keep players safe from shots to the head or while defenseless … hence, the spearing and targeting rules.

In my research for writing this article, one theme kept appearing over and over again: the NFL needs a better plan.

The first part is the fact that the NFL hasn’t figured out the logistics of the players and their families as a community. Essentially, at the moment we could see empty stadiums as the New York Giants and NY Jets just announced will be the case at MetLife Stadium, which would protect the fans. But how can we have the players go home and interact with friends and family and then come back to train with their teammates and play games against their opponents and not expect one or more of them to contract the virus and spread it to handfuls of players throughout the NFL?

Logistically speaking, they will be avoiding buffet meals, maintaining social distancing measures as much as possible, and wearing masks when it doesn’t impact their training and playing performance … but this does not solve the problem at hand. It also goes without saying that the NFL will test players regularly. So, how do you keep more than 2,000 players from going to after-game parties or out for a night on the town and risking an NFL outbreak that shuts the season down? The NFL has not effectively addressed this issue.

Since March, the NFL has stated that they would play a full 2020 season. And now that it’s just around the bend, they have admitted that they expect infections withing the league to occur and that their focus will be on identifying infected players and staff quickly before they can spread the virus to others. But this is a logistical and technological nightmare.

Essentially, at the moment we could see empty stadiums as the New York Giants and NY Jets just announced will be the case at MetLife Stadium, which would protect the fans.

So, what is an acceptable threshold of risk? Suddenly we are stuck with a question of ethics. Not just business ethics on the part of the NFL but moral ethics as well. Do we really want our favorite players out their literally adding another level of life-threatening danger to the game we so love to watch? Do we want to perhaps see 1.4 NFL players per 100 die of COVID-19 simply because we want to watch them play on Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays?

Is it worth it?

Another thing to consider is the loss of full position groups. We all know that coronavirus tends to spread like wildfire through groups of people who have prolonged close contact. For example, in a town, we might see 100 new positive tests, and 80 of them come from one factory. So, we should expect something similar with the potential outbreaks that could occur in the NFL. It isn’t likely that one offensive lineman would contract novel coronavirus, but the entire linemen corps because they work together in a close-knit community every day, is at risk if one does indeed be exposed to the virus. Can teams afford to lose entire player groups for 3 weeks or more? And then what is the trickle-down impact? If you lose your entire offensive line, do you want to trust your star QB and RBs’ health to a bunch of inexperienced walk-ons?

The bottom line is the NFL and NFLPA still have some serious thinking to do with regards to this season’s operations.

Sports Techie, let’s face it, the health and safety of NFL players, coaches and staff alike is as risk because of coronavirus.

NFL players Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, J.J. Watts and Stefon Diggs, did a coordinated tweet storm last Sunday using hashtag #WeWantToPlay, as a means of communicating their frustration with negotiations that should have been wrapped up weeks if not months ago.

NFL Players Are Concerned About The NFL’s COVID-19 Health And Safety Plan

Can you blame them when the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) decided on Monday to postpone high school football along with volleyball, cross country and water polo until late December or early January, 2021.

It is not easy to figure out what is the best plan but what is a no-brainer is understanding that the safety of the greater good (the many) out way the needs of the few, or is this case, the NFL 2020 season should the owners not step up soon with better COVID 19 health and safety plans.

See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!

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