NFL 2020 What to Expect
When Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl LIV, after a late comeback back in February, no one would have imagined it would be months before watching another game of football.
The NFL, one of the biggest sports leagues in America, has suffered tremendously. The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the cancellation of all 2020 preseason games back in July. The league also opted to hold its draft virtually due to fears over the virus.
After the resumption of the league on September 10, so much has happened. While there’s a lot of excitement in the air, there’s still an edge of anxiety especially with more NFL players testing positive.
If you’re a football fan, you must have multiple questions about how things will turn out. This post looks at some of the things to expect.
Danger Still Lurks
Since NFL training started back in January, the league leadership has emphasized the importance of observing the most stringent Covid-19 protocols. Everyone at the camps, including the players and team personnel, continue undergoing multiple coronavirus tests per week.
The stringent protocols include daily testing in training, wearing masks during training and daily symptom screenings and temperature checks at NFL training facilities.
Even with all these precautions, the NFL has discovered that danger still lurks just about everywhere. With daily tests continuing, more players have tested positive. The Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings have been forced to close facilities after Titans players test positive for the coronavirus.
The three are long-snapper Beau Brinkley, starting nose tackle DaQuan Jones, and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson. The latest reports indicate 16 people at the Titans organizations have tested positive for the novel coronavirus including eight players.
To make matters worse, New England quarterback Cam Newton has also tested positive for the novel coronavirus. This forced the NFL to postpone the Patriots’ game at the Kansas City Chiefs. The postponement has caused jitters with fears that the increasing cases of infection might fully disrupt the NFL season.
Other players who have tested positive include A.J. Terrell, CB (Falcons) and Jordan Ta'amu, QB, Chiefs. The football community has discovered just how risky playing in the middle of a global pandemic can be. Will this lead to cancellation?
Some Fans at the Games
The biggest question among NFL fans is whether they will be attending matches any time soon. Most NFL teams have no plans for fans to attend their games. However, a few teams, like the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts have plans for a limited capacity in NFL Week 3.
With more players testing positive and even games getting postponed, such plans now look far-fetched. After all, no one knows whether the league will even hold long enough under the currency circumstances. Most of the teams however, opted to play in empty stadiums with the option to change this midseason.
You have to check whether your team accepts fans at home games. For instance, the Raiders have already won’t host fans at any of their eight home games this season. On the other hand, the Cowboys plan to have fans attend the games at varying percentages of stadium capacities.
Well, nothing to worry about because you can still follow the matches on live television. If there’s no match on TV, you can always find a good online casino like golden nugget online casino and play your favorite games. Who knows, you might win while at it. This is the perfect way to compensate for the lack of live football action this year.
Equality to Play a Key Role
With the debate on equality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the sporting world has been forced to react. During the first NFL game after the resumption, players joined in a pregame demonstration of unity at midfield. They linked arms in support of the ongoing fight for equality in our country.
Technically, the NFL still has a national anthem policy prohibiting protests during the national anthem but these are not ordinarily times. On the first full day of game play in the 2020-2021 football season, five NFL Teams (The New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills) all remained in their respective locker rooms.
Everyone expected a reaction from the NFL after a lot of criticism by fans. What’s more, other leagues, including the NBA, have demonstrated willingness to show support for the equality fight openly.
So much is happening and so fast in this new dispensation. From the fluid schedule, games cancellation, more players testing positive, facilities shutting down, NFL on Saturday this fall, more testing, changing rules of TV stations to new rules, it’s a completely new game. Despite the uncertainty, this might just add to the excitement and anticipation.