- The NFL season in 2020 is still a possibility according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
- The NFL 2020 season will hinge on whether or not we see a marked decrease in coronavirus infections over the next few months.
- The number of coronavirus infections across the country is currently rising rapidly across a number of areas.
Dr. Anthony Fauci last week created quite a stir when he said that the upcoming NFL season might be cancelled due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases. It’s worth noting that Fauci’s remarks were made just as a number of NFL players — including Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott — tested positive for COVID-19.
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble,” Fauci said, “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.”
Fauci went on to say that if a second wave of the coronavirus hits, “football may not happen this year.”
A week removed, Fauci walked back his previous comments, which should come as welcome news for folks who live and breathe football.
“My statements about the NFL season have been misinterpreted and taken out of context,” Fauci told Sports Illustrated earlier this week. “I was asked by officials from the NFL about risks associated with various scenarios that the NFL might face in consideration of the upcoming season. I provided advice from a public health standpoint. The ultimate decision is not mine but that of the officials of the NFL and the players themselves.”
Still, there’s no reason to get excited for NFL football just yet, with Fauci noting that it’s still too early to make a definitive decision in any direction.
“Optimally you would want to see the level of infection dramatically decreased and good control of any evidence of resurgence,” Fauci added. “Again, the officials of the league in consultation with the players will make their own decisions.”
Fauci’s wait-and-see approach certainly makes sense given that the state of the coronavirus pandemic in the US fluctuates wildly on a week-to-week basis. To this point, the number of new coronavirus cases in the United States reached a new single-day high yesterday.
The NFL, meanwhile, doesn’t have all that much time to come up with a plan. While the regular season isn’t slated to begin until September, training camp for most NFL teams typically kicks off in July. As it stands now, it remains unclear if training camp will start on schedule.
It’s worth noting that the NFL has come with a variety of safety measures to help protect players from contracting the coronavirus should the NFL 2020 season proceed as planned. Still, with the coronavirus still on the rise in many states — including in Florida which has three NFL teams — there’s still a reasonable chance that the season might be cancelled.