Will there be an NFL season?
Our subscribers all seem to be asking the same question: “Do you think they’ll actually have an NFL season?”
We are confident that the season will begin on time on September 10. The NFL is determined to play Week 1, which is packed with marquee matchups. Then, look at Week 2: In each game, the teams have the same bye week. So if the league has to cancel Week 2 in order to make health-related changes, those games can all be played later in the season. In Week 3 and Week 4 no divisional games will be played, so if those need to be scrubbed or rescheduled, no problem – it won’t affect the divisional playoff tiebreakers at the end of the year.
Football teams travel in a fundamentally different way from baseball teams. Baseball teams travel more often, and then they embed in town for several days. Baseball players are accustomed to visiting restaurants and nightclubs. Football travel is different. The team flies in on a charter, heads for the hotel, plays the game, and flies back home.
We interviewed the president of the National Football League Physicians Society for an article about whether it's safe to hold in-person fantasy drafts in the age of COVID-19. (The article appears in this year's edition of Fantasy Football Index. Haven't ordered yours yet? Subscribe here). He’s a pulmonologist (respiratory specialist) with a private practice outside of football, and he has many coronavirus patients. He’s working on the NFL committee tasked with reopening the league. He told us that he’s impressed by the effort and resources that the NFL is investing in the reopening.
Of course, we can't and won't know what to expect until 300-pound linemen start leaning on each other for 50 snaps per game. We can’t be sure what will happen three days from now, yet alone in three months. We expect some teams to have COVID flare-ups. We expect weirdness. But still, it looks like the NFL has positioned itself as well as possible to react to challenges and play its season.
On the website we've written about our plans regarding COVID-19, and we will follow developments as they unfold over the coming months. If you haven't subscribed to the free daily Newsblast newsletter, now is a good time. Every day we are publishing free analysis, trivia questions, and factoids to keep you busy until the season starts.
Stay safe, everyone.