NFL COVID-19 Restrictions: Pre-Season Canceled but Play Moves Forward

NFL season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The National Football League (NFL) will finish their 100th season of football amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This season’s guidelines and rules are different from the other seasons with the main fact that the stadiums will not and are not filled with fans. 

The NFL is protecting the players from COVID while still allowing them to play by testing daily. The players are also required to wear a contact tracking bracelet at all times. According to an article from CBS Sports, the season was delayed because of the pandemic, however, all 256 games will be played this season. The season started September 10th, with the Kansas City Chiefs (2019-2020) season Superbowl Winners), and the Houston Texans, and ending January 3rd. A full 17 weeks of football. 

 In an article from New York Times,  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says, “We have a league-wide video system to monitor that the players and staff are wearing protective gear when traveling or in the practice facility. It also limits the league to the number of free-agent tryouts per week placing bans on gatherings outside of team facilities.” 

The first major NFL outbreak of the Corona Virus was the Tennessee Titans. According to the article from the Titans, the Steelers and Titans game was postponed during week four. The Titans, “…rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton, the team’s second-round pick, on the COVID-19 reserve list,” was the fifth positive test of that week.  That brought the teams to total up to 12 positive tests or cases of COVID-19. 

According to an article from the NFL, the second game postponed was between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs when Cam Newton, the starting QB (quarterback) for the Patriots and Chiefs practice squad QB, Jordan Ta’amu came down with the virus.  

According to Sporting News, only some stadiums are allowing spectators in their stadiums. If they are allowing spectators, it is not at full capacity. The Jacksonville Jaguars started the season allowing the most spectators at 25% max capacity. With that said, all games are still being broadcasted over T.V. and some stadiums have “virtual” or pictures of their fans in their stadiums. 

The NFL preseason was canceled this year. That didn’t give the teams a chance to test their new players and for the athletes to jump back into the swing of things. Kenyan Drake,  Calvin Ridley, and  Mark Ingram are three of the many players who have faced injuries this season.