However, things will be very different this year.
There won’t be fans in most stadiums to start the year, and you may not see some of your favorite players dressing up due to the pandemic.
While most teams are playing today, here’s what you need to know with NFL First Sunday.
Teams will have the phrases “We All Need” and “Ending Racism” in each team’s end zones throughout the season.
The NFL will play the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – known as the Black National Anthem – ahead of the opening weekend games, while also showing footage that showcases the social justice work of players and players. teams.
Goodell said a number of players told him voting was the number one issue that mattered to them, which helped boost NFL Votes, a voting initiative launched by the league in July.
It is a league-wide, non-partisan initiative that, according to Goodell, “supports and encourages civic engagement and voting for fans, players, legends and club and league staff.”
The initiative will focus on three essential parts of the electoral process: voter education, registration and activation. Education programs have been conducted with players from all 32 teams, and Goodell said the league encourages teams to offer their stadiums as voting centers.
Goodell, who said last month that he wished the league had “listened sooner” to Colin Kaepernick when he started protesting at the national anthem in 2016, also announced that the league’s players would be in. measure to “shine the spotlight and honor the victims of systemic racism and police brutality” with stickers on their helmets that bear the names of the victims.
Players will wear these decals throughout the season.
Chiefs start their title defense
The Kansas City Chiefs began their Super Bowl title defense by beating the Houston Texans 34-20 on Thursday.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked as sharp as ever, and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will only reinforce one of the league’s most notable offenses.
The Chiefs appear to have missed no beat and are the favorites to win it all again this year and repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Tom Brady in Tampa Bay
Quarterback Tom Brady rocked the football world when he decided to leave the New England Patriots and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent.
Along with the Buccaneers, Brady will arguably have the most talented arsenal of weapons surrounding him on offense. All Pro Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two of the most talented receivers he has ever played with, and tight end Rob Gronkowski has come out of retirement to join Brady.
While the 43-year-old Brady has shown signs of decline in recent years, he is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time and could lead the Buccaneers to his first playoff victory since the team won the Super Bowl in 2003.
Patriots without Brady
With Brady in Tampa Bay, the Patriots signed quarterback Cam Newton to take his place.
It’s a new era for the Patriots without Brady under center. The team will display an entirely different attack as Newton is a mobile quarterback.
While the Patriots have had a number of star players who have chosen not to play this season due to concerns over Covid-19, it is difficult to count coach Bill Belichick.
Can the NFL end the season?
There were doubts the NFL would be able to kick off their season as planned due to the pandemic, but the league was able to skip training camp and start the season as planned on Thursday night.
As the league plans to play the season as planned, things could change quickly with thousands of new coronavirus cases still being reported across the United States.
For a full-contact sport like soccer – in which it’s virtually impossible to avoid being close to others, even under the strictest guidelines – it’s almost certain that more players will test positive for the coronavirus, say the experts.
NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr Allen Sills admitted in an interview with NPR that the league is expected to have more cases of Covid-19 during the season.
“We expect to have positive cases,” Sills said. “No matter how careful we try to be and how many protocols we have in place, we know that this disease remains endemic in our societies and communities, and it is highly contagious. ”
An outbreak could easily force the NFL to change its plans, and the league might have no choice but to shut down the season in the event of a major outbreak.
CNN’s Jill Martin, David Close, Kevin Dotson, Leah Asmelash and Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.