The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t stopping the NFL from moving forward with its 2020 season.
The NFL is among the only leagues to not fully shut down when the effects of the novel coronavirus began full force in the United States in mid-March. The league, after all, had just wrapped up its 2019 season about a month earlier, so it had plenty of time to gear up for the fall.
Roger Goodell knows the season will not be “easy,” but believes the league is “prepared” for what’s to come, per NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
“We?re not patting ourselves on the back yet,? the NLF commissioner told reporters Tuesday during a video conference call, via ProFootballTalk’s Charean Williams. ?We?re just at the eve of the season, and we?re looking to start and complete the season on time and complete, but in a very safe way for everybody who is participating.”
So far, Goodell is pleased with the league’s relatively low numbers, lauding the “diligence” of players, coaches and staff. But he knows there’s still more work to be done, and that the league will have to “remain vigilant, resilient and flexible” in the coming months.
“I think the big thing for us, again, is not to get comfortable,” Goodell said. “The protocols are working. But we?re dealing with a lot of uncertainty here. This is a pandemic that we?re still learning about. We?ve had to put together an entire infrastructure of testing across our league, getting results very quickly, but we really have to obviously adapt to the medical community here and rely on our experts that have been wonderful in putting together this plan. But now as you?re executing on you, you have to be willing to adapt to that, and you have to change. We?ve already made changes in our protocols, made changes to our testing. We will looking to further changes to our testing as we get into the regular season. We?ll be getting into new aspects with traveling that we have to be focused on.”
The NFL kicks off its 2020 season Thursday, Sept. 10 with a matchup between the Houston Texans and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
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