The NFL is gearing up for a full 2020 season despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
That said, the league knows someone eventually will test positive for the coronavirus. But it’s prepared to tackle the issue once it arises.
“We fully well expect that we will have positive cases that arise because we think that this disease will remain endemic in society,” said NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller, as transcribed by Yahoo! Sports. “So it shouldn’t be a surprise that new positive cases arise. Our challenge is to identify them as quickly as possible and to prevent spread to too many other participants. We’re working very diligently on that, and we’ll have some detailed plans to share about that at a later time.”
In the meantime, Miller said the league is taking “a thoughtful, data-driven approach” when addressing the upcoming season. The NFL plans on being “flexible” and “adaptable” as the pandemic continues, and will observe other pro leagues’ approach to the virus before determining how to best proceed.
“How is the testing program going (in other leagues)?” Miller said. “What does the rate of new infection look like? How do we handle new infections and new exposures? What things can we learn about helping train and play safely that will translate to other aspects of play and other types of sports?
“… We’re all working together in this. This is not an issue of the NFL working in isolation. We’re working very much together with the other pro sports leagues in North America and around the world in this.”
There currently is no timeline for players to return to team facilities, according to NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills. But at least the league is confident it’ll be prepared to face the coronavirus crisis head-on.