Does anyone really think the NFL can make it through an entire season without canceling?

We are already hitting 75,000 confirmed infections per day in the USA (and who knows how many other un-confirmed/un-detected infections.) This is when we’re still in the heat of summer, and things are only going to get worse with the second wave as cold weather returns in the fall and winter.

All it took was a couple of players testing positive for the NBA to suspend its entire season for months. An NFL roster is far larger (53 players) than the NBA’s. Does anyone really think 1,696 players can go Covid-free the entire season, not including those on the practice squads?

I am pretty sure all we’ll see is a few weeks of games up to, say, Week Four, and then “several players have tested positive,” and then season over.

I don’t think that anyone (including the NFL) thinks that they will be able to keep the entire league COVID-free. We already know that at least 59 players (and an additional 36 team staff) have tested positive. I guarantee you that they fully realize that some will test positive going forward; to that end, they’ve already put in a new rule, allowing teams to put players on injured reserve specifically due to COVID-19, which allows those players to return to play after they no longer have the disease.

All of the other major North American sports leagues (NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, WNBA, NWSL) have either restarted their seasons, or are about to. A number of them, like the NBA, have instituted “bubbles” (placing all of the players and staff in one or two locations) in an attempt to keep opportunities for infection to a minimum. The NFL isn’t doing that, and likely can’t, so I do think that they are going to have a much harder time keeping players from catching it.

In addition, the NFL still doesn’t seem to have a good handle on how to deal with all of this. They’ve only just reached an agreement with the players on their testing program, and training camps are to open in a few days. It’s looking likely that all preseason games will be cancelled (after previously stating that they would be trimming from 4 preseason games to 2), but I think that that is still up in the air.

I don’t think that “several players have tested positive” will cause the NFL to cancel the season; what I do fear (and think is likely) is that a team or two will experience COVID sweeping through their roster, and suddenly find themselves unable to field a competitive team – and that would likely lead to everything getting shut down.

I’ll guess they complete a full 16 game season, plus post-season. All the other leagues are getting back into the swing of things, and there’s far too much money involved in the NFL to not find a way through.

I think they’ll play the season, but I don’t think the TV ratings are going to be too good.

I know I have no plans on watching the NFL play in empty stadiums.

I’d far rather watch NFL with empty stadiums. As long as they don’t pump fake crowd noise into the broadcast.

Pre-COVID it was always a bitch to hear the commentators over the moronic noise of the horde.

lol. The number of people who aren’t going to watch for that reason are going to be very few.

If anything the ratings will be up if things in the real world are shut down. What the hell else are people going to do?

People have been waking up early in the morning to watch Korean baseball. The Royals’ exhibition game against the Astros on Tuesday was the highest rated show on TV in Kansas City this week. NFL ratings will be through the roof, like they always are.

I don’t know much about pro sports, including pro football, but couldn’t they just quarantine all the players for the duration of the season? And I guess the refs and other personnel? I mean, they all make enough and the season isn’t that long, is it? ISTM it starts in August and goes through, what? January? For millions of dollars, I’d certainly be willing to quarantine for that time. I’m sure the regular staff and refs and stuff don’t make that much, but surly they could figure something out along these lines in order to protect the players and have a season…no?

I could very well be wrong. You say very few people will forego watching and I think otherwise.

I guess we’ll find out.

Maybe so. I guess we’ll see when the season started.

I think it will definitely seem weird without fans there. I’m guessing the producers will try not to show too much of the empty seats, but it will happen.

It will be interesting.

That’s basically what they’re doing with the NBA, but that’s far fewer players per team and they aren’t even doing all teams.

Between players, couches, ref, trainers, various other stadium staff (who aren’t making millions of dollars) to quarantine the NFL that’s around 3000 people. Where are you going to quarantine them all?

Could they? Possibly, I suppose. You’re talking about quarantining (or, as sports like the NBA describe it, “bubbling”) probably over 100 people per team (players, coaches, trainers, support staff), from late July (training camps are starting now) through early January (the regular season is slated to end on January 3), plus another month of playoffs for a subset of the teams.

That’s five-plus months to be isolated – isolated from family and friends, and with no social activities other than with your teammates. Yes, there’s a lot of money being paid to some of the players, but a lot of the players (not to mention the trainers, assistant coaches, equipment guys, etc.) are not making huge sums of money.

In addition, we’re talking about young, healthy guys, a lot of whom are accustomed to a lifestyle which includes partying and otherwise enjoying life. I’m skeptical that you could get 100% compliance with a quarantine from them for five months or more – some subset will sneak out to hit the bars or go on dates, and some may sneak out just to see their families.

The NBA and NHL are putting their players into bubbles for their resumed playoffs, but that’s a matter of only a few weeks for most of the participants.

Well, I figured each team would quarantine their people in some sort of hotel or something like that. The NFL, which I presume hires the refs and such could do something similar. It was just a thought, but seems like it would really mitigate the risk to the greatest extent, while letting them basically run around loose would increase it. I presume without actually knowing that simply quarantining between games wouldn’t work, as I assume games happen more often than every 14 days.

Better that than the dramatic incidental music they tried a few years back.

Yes; they play once a week. The NFL season is 16 games, but 17 weeks long (every team gets one “bye week,” or week off without a game, at some point during the middle third of the season).

I think we’re going to start football, both NFL and college, but it will devolve into an unmanageable disaster and be shut down within a month. Also think the country will probably be shut down shortly thereafter. Still hoping I get to see a giant Asteroid of Doom coming for Earth or the rise of an Elder God.

Also, the playoff “bubbles” that the NBA and the NHL are doing include bringing all of the involved teams together to one or two locations (the NBA is at Disney World in central Florida; the NHL is in Toronto and Edmonton). Putting the entire NFL into one bubble would require thousands of hotel rooms (doable in some areas), but also require access to stadiums to play 16 games each weekend. Each NFL game tears up the field, and requires the groundkeeping crew to spend time repairing it; trying to play multiple NFL games on the same field on the same weekend would be a disaster.

Even if the NFL put each team in its own bubble, you’re still looking at each team having to leave its cocoon 8 times, traveling for road games in other cities.

Also the game officials are an issue in the NFL, as they are largely only part-time employees of the league – most of them have other jobs, as well. Putting them into a quarantine would require many of them to go on leave from (or quit) their other jobs.

I could see the NFL needing to pick up a the tab on that, and doing so pretty willingly.

Would the NFL pay to put their officiating crews up in hotels for five months? Sure.

Would all (or even most) of the officials do it? I really doubt it. A lot of them have pretty lucrative jobs outside of officiating, and they are officials because they love the game; when the NFL floated the idea of making all of their officials full-time a year or two ago, it became clear that the league would lose quite a few of their experienced officials if they forced them to choose between officiating and their “day jobs.” I would expect the same sort of reaction if the league tried to quarantine their officials this season.

Why couldn’t most of the officials work remotely like most of the rest of the white collar world in the US?