NFL to play full season despite pandemic

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NFL update May 2020 Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

The National Football League (NFL) will be returning on September 10 this year as the NFL released its much-anticipated schedule, indicating it plans to start the season on time despite the coronavirus pandemic. After weighing the pros and cons of playing a full season, it has now decided to play the full season.

NFL Vice-President Troy Vincent said they are hoping to open on time despite the global outbreak, which has shut down the National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and postponed Major League Baseball (MLB)’s opening day.

The 17-week regular season is due to conclude on January 3, 2021, and the playoffs will culminate with the Super Bowl on February 7 next year in Tampa, Florida, in US.

“The plan is to move forward as normal, play a full schedule until the medical community tells us otherwise,” Vincent noted.

“Our approach is to make sure we are responsible with a proper plan. We want to make sure we are following any guidelines as it pertains to Governors’ stay-at-home orders and policies. Let’s make sure we are following those guidelines. We are preparing to play a full season.”

The Los Angeles Rams will play their inaugural game in the new SoFi Stadium in California, US, against the Dallas Cowboys on September 13 this year. The stadium, located in the south-central Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, is also home to the Los Angeles Chargers, who kick off their home schedule against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 20 this year.

Full season

Earlier, the National Football League (NFL) was mulling on playing a full season though everything was still hazy what that will look like.

The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.

The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played on February 7, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. This will be the fifth Super Bowl hosted by the Tampa area and the third one held at Raymond James Stadium.

“The schedule will come out as normal, but we’re doing reasonable and responsible planning as we always do, inside of game operations,” League Executive Vincent told mediapersons earlier.

“Based off of what we are learning from the medical community and how people are handling this domestically and abroad, we are being deliberate with reasonable and responsible planning about what can work in our environment and what we can incorporate to protect the health and safety of all involved,” Vincent had said.

Empty stadiums, neutral sites and no bye weeks are among several alternatives being mulled.

“We have to look at it in the current environment based off what we’re learning through the science and through the medical community,” added Vincent, who oversees football operations for the NFL.

Vincent informed that the league would not take virus tests away from the public – “We won’t. General public safety is first and foremost.”

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