Although everything in this world has changed drastically because of Covid-19, the NFL has refused to let this pandemic ruin their season. With good planning and putting safety first, commissioner Roger Goodell was able to get the league up and running in the beginning of September, its usual starting time. There was no bubble set up for the NFL like there was for the NBA and the NFL, so there were new rules set in place for the safety of all players, coaches and staff, and all other NFL related workers.
If a player tests positive for Covid-19, he will have to quarantine for 8 days with daily Covid tests everyday during that period. If a player tests negative after quarantining, he must test negative a second time within 24 hours after the first negative test. A player who catches Covid-19 will also cause the rest of their team to get tested, as well as the team they played last and anyone else who had close contact with the infected player in recent time.
There were several schedule changes made that were necessary to make to get this football season started. The league was able to extend training camp for all teams, which resulted in the cancellation of all preseason games. This allowed the players more time to get their bodies back into football shape and improve on their game. The NFL was also forced to relocate all London and Mexico City games back to the United States. So far this season, there have been multiple games that were rescheduled. For example, the Bills-Titans game got pushed to a Tuesday and the Patriots-Broncos game got postponed for a week.
Being a fan at a football game is something that makes the sport as special as it is. It is truly one of the best experiences anyone can ever go through to be a part of a roaring and energetic crowd. Since the start of the pandemic, the league has done its best to make sure there will be as many fans in the stands of games as possible. In order to get this done, all week 1 games were played with zero fans in the stands as well as fake crowd noises being played in the background. After week 1, a handful of teams have allowed a certain amount of fans to attend games, such as the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots, however, most of the league still stands on having no fans attend games at this time.
With safety being the number one priority for this league during this time, the NFL requires all team and league personnel, as well as the players, to wear a mask to and from games. They are also required in all team facilities with the exception of when a player is either practicing or working out. During games, all coaches and staff members are required to wear a mask on the sidelines, as well as any player who is not playing for any reason. Any player that felt uncomfortable playing football during this pandemic for any reason was able to withdraw himself from the 2020 NFL season. The Patriots were the only team to have more than three players back out of the season with their total being eight players. There were three teams, the Atlanta Falcons, LA Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have had zero players back out of this season.
All in all, Commissioner Goodell and the NFL are doing a great job keeping this football season alive during this hard time. Billions of people around the world love to watch the best football players in the world go against each other and it would’ve been devastating if there was no football, which only would have made this year much harder than it already is. With everybody’s hard work and commitment to making this season work, the world is able to witness the new normal of football for the foreseeable future, which is just as exciting as any other football season would be.