/ Opinions / It’s time to hear the NFL’s plan

It’s time to hear the NFL’s plan

July 28, 2020 by Brett LaBore

The NFL season has vastly come upon us. Players are concerned about the safety protocols and the lack of planning by the NFL. It’s now or never.

All teams, veterans and rookies, reported to training camp today. Players are here and games will soon be here as well. 

I’m not going to attempt to be a doctor in this situation. It’s a really tricky situation here. Unlike the NBA, you can’t really put a bubble around the hundreds of players, coaches and staff each team has.

I love football, but safety is the highest priority. My biggest fear would be if a bunch of players got COVID-19 at once. That would make for a scary circumstances.

I would start with a bunch of testing. Just like they’re doing in the MLB and NBA, test the players frequently to make sure we know which players are positive and which are negative.

Players who test negative maybe could sit out for a certain period of time like they do in the NBA. Once games come closer to starting, you can choose to keep negative players on the inactive list on game days or have a separate injured list for players who have COVID-19. 

MLB has their own injured list for players who have COVID-19, as opposed to their regular injured list. The NFL can look into something similar.

The sidelines will have to be something to look into. There are so many players/coaches/staff on the sidelines. The NBA has shown that their Orlando court has seats that are distanced appropriately. Football is going to have to figure out what to do with all the players. 

The difference between the MLB and NFL is that football is a contact sport as opposed to baseball, which really isn’t. So many players are going to be in contact with each other which will make things just that more confusing.

I think the biggest thing is to just have something in place. Even if it’s not finalized, just having a plan gives players some peace of mind. Plans can always get tweaked as time goes on. 

Nobody likes getting left in the dark and that’s what players are worried about. Right now, the NFL hasn’t said much at all.

One thing that scares me as a fan is if one of the best players on the team gets it. For example, if Aaron Rodgers gets it, who knows how many games he could miss. There are only 16 games in a season and missing time wouldn’t be good. 

And talented quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes can be a real difference into making or not making the playoffs. 

Teams can catch a huge break if the opposing teams’ quarterback has to miss time. Or any one of the other best players on the team for that matter.

Another twist in this whole thing is how much time the NFL has. The NBA, NHL and MLB were cut mid-season or the start of their season. 

The NFL has had all this time to figure it out. From the Draft to free agency, everything has gone according to plan thus far. But now here we have training camp report dates.

I hope they have some sort of plan in place because I really want to see football. 

They have already canceled preseason games, but as sad as that is, I understand. People don’t like preseason games when there isn’t a pandemic, so this doesn’t surprise me.

Personally, I like the preseason because I like to see younger players battle for roster spots that I usually don’t get a chance in seeing. 

I will have to look forward to watching my Packers play their season opener Sept. 13 at the Minnesota Vikings. 

I hope there is football. And I hope they can do it safely.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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