Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a dire outlook on the chances of an NFL season in 2020 amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. The leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force told Dr. Sanjay Gupta that, “it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” unless players are isolated in a metaphorical bubble this year.
His voice was just one in a growing number of medical experts concerned about the feasibility of professional team sports this year. With COVID-19 cases currently at an all-time high in the United States, it’s hard to feel optimistic right now.
However, NFL insider Adam Schefter has spoken to someone in the league, and they remain not just confident, but certain that football will be played this year. At the end of Schefter’s podcast—recorded Monday—he read a text from that source that was sent to him last Thursday.
Here’s the full transcript from the last few minutes of Schefter’s podcast.
“There’s one person I know, very connected to the NFL, very knowledgeable, and on Thursday night at 8:56 Eastern, as there were some questions and concerns about this, he texted me, I’m going to read you:
‘The NFL is going to play, Adam. I’m very certain of it. Have faith in the league. The process and testing and protocols are exceptional. You should see and hear how much is being done. Daily saliva tests and PCR [Polymerase chain reaction] every three days. Sanitizing everything, including the balls. You can’t believe all that’s being done and prepared.’
“So it’s good to get a message like that from somebody in the know who is convinced that there will be football, because I think there are more and more people who have questions about whether the league will be able to pull it off. And I think the one thing we can say is that the league is determined to get this season in. I think that’s the thing that football fans can count on.”
Given how the league has pressed forward with the NFL Draft and free agency, it should come as no surprise the NFL is prepared to pull out every single stop to make sure the season happens this year. Of course, they’ve also had to cancel many things, too. Team facilities remain closed for actual football activities, meaning there have been no OTA workouts. Minicamp never happened. The latest news is that the very first preseason game—the Hall of Fame Game—is being cancelled. One has to wonder if training camp—just a month away—is next on the chopping block.
Schefter didn’t give his own opinion on the words of his NFL source, but he certainly wants to share his optimism.
“All I can say is I hope he’s right.”