Dr. Anthony Fauci believes the 2020 NFL season ultimately ‘may not happen’ if there is a ‘second wave’ of the coronavirus (COVID-19) heading into the fall.
According to CNN, Fauci explained his reasoning heading into Sep. 10.
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci said about the upcoming 101st season and pandemic. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”
The NBA is trying to institute a plan similar to what Fauci is referring to by sending all of its playoff-eligible teams to Orlando, FL where they will be confined to a Disney World bubble consisting of only players and authorized personnel.
However, with the 2019-20 NBA season in progress and only 15 players limited to a roster, it is much easier to set that plan in motion than it would be for the NFL.
The 2020 season has yet to begin and with 53-man rosters, they would have to have 1,696 players in the bubble as well as each team’s important employees.
The fact that Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans players have already been diagnosed does not bode well for the league’s plan to start the season on time.
For the Las Vegas Raiders specifically, COVID-19 has already impacted the construction of Allegiant Stadium and Nevada has recorded over 13,000 cases.
With a ton of rookies being added over the 2020 NFL offseason, the pandemic will also hinder their ability to get on-the-field practice time with their new teammates in Las Vegas, therefore limiting the number of in-game reps they may receive.
For Henry Ruggs III in particular, who is currently dealing with a thigh injury, the lack of reps with Derek Carr will certainly impede their ability to develop chemistry.
However, the Raiders have become one of many NFL teams to donate in response to the pandemic as they recently pledged $1 million to COVID-19 response efforts.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell must take extreme precautions in creating a detailed plan of action for the beginning of the new season and while the NBA can be used as a model, they must develop procedures unique to their league.