“COVID-19 will continue to present a major challenge in almost all areas of American life. Football is no exception, ”Goodell wrote.“Every step of the way, we have focused on the safety of players, coaches, staff, supporters and our communities. Our planning followed the lead of medical experts and public health officials, including the CDC, the White House task force, governors and state health officials. As we have developed our 2020 Playbook for the Return of Football, safety remains our number one priority; this commitment will remain paramount as the players return to the field. ”
The league and the players’ union reached an agreement on a plan last Friday, after all preseason games were called off. The team’s facilities were closed by Goodell at the end of March and began to reopen cautiously this summer.
“The NFL in 2020 won’t be like any other year,” Goodell added. “Players and coaches will be tested regularly for the virus, including every day for a while. The preseason games have been canceled. Everyone in the team environment must follow rigorous health and safety protocols to protect and protect each other. test, strict regulations will be in place to isolate and treat that person and to contain the virus before it spreads.
“Even the sideline will look different. And state and local health guidelines will help determine whether fans will attend games. These adjustments are necessary to reduce the risk for everyone involved. ”
Goodell stressed the need for adaptability at all levels, citing how a virtual project was organized in April. All 32 teams also held off-season distance training sessions.
The NFL chose not to create a bubble environment, which is what the NHL, NBA, WNBA, and MLS have done. While Major League Baseball struggles in its first weekend of play with an NFL-like plan, there is additional anxiety over what Goodell’s League has planned.
“This week training camps across the country are starting and before we know it the NFL season will be here,” he wrote. “It’s always the most optimistic time of year for our fans and for the 32 teams. In a year that has been extremely difficult for our country and the world, we hope that the energy of this moment will bring some much needed optimism. “