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Le Tigre

Draft/OTA's/Training Camp/Season Covid-19

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It is so erratic as to the direction of the league at the moment. A lot of moving parts...many of which are not under their control. Completely new territory. 

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I used to think football will happen, but I have changed my mind.  Seeing all these athletes with COVID just reminds me that athletes are young people.  Young people aren't doing so well with the social distancing, staying home, etc.  These guys aren't going to be healthy.  I think team sports may be done for 2020.

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2020 Hall of Fame Game to be canceled, enshrinement postponed


The Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Stealers has been canceled.


The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday that the preseason opener, scheduled for Aug. 6, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


In addition, the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony on Aug. 8 has been postponed until 2021. Five modern-era players, Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James and Troy Polamalu; coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson; and three contributors, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young, were set to be enshrined this year.


"The health and safety of our Hall of Famers, fans and volunteers who make Enshrinement Week so special remains our top priority," Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement. "The Hall will honor the Centennial Class of 2020 next August, along with what promises to be an equally spectacular Class of 2021, as part of a multi-day celebration of football with an atmosphere that will deliver for fans 'Twice the Fun in '21.'"


With the HOF game no longer taking place, the Cowboys and Stealers are expected to report to training camp when the rest of the teams begin workouts in late July. The current training camp start date is July 28, but the beginning of training camp is one topic NFL owners are expected to discuss in Thursday's video conference meeting, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.


A fortnight ago, Baker said the game and ceremony were on pace to be played, but there were contingencies in place if postponement was necessary. In the end, the league felt it safest to cancel the game amid the pandemic. The Cowboys and Stealers have agreed to postpone their preseason matchup until Aug. 5, 2021, which will kick off next year's Enshrinement Week.


Baker also said in an interview on NFL NOW that the Hall of Fame had considered doing a virtual enshrinement for this year's class, but decided for a double-sized ceremony next summer.


"We think that our mission is to honor the heroes of the game and to do that without your friends and your families and your teammates and the fans that helped get you here just doesn't do it service," Baker said. "So in the end we thought the best thing to do after talking to our board of trustees was to put this enshrinement over into 2021. That will be pretty special because we will also enshrine in a separate ceremony the Class of 2021. So our phrase right now is, "It's going to be twice the fun in '21.'"


It's the first major event the NFL has had to completely cancel due to COVID-19. The live NFL draft in Las Vegas was wiped out, but the league still held the event virtually.


The NFL has said multiple times it plans to push forward with the 2020 regular season starting on time. The cancellation of the HOF game could be the first stage in curtailing the preseason, however, as the league deals with the difficulties of playing games during a pandemic.


The Hall of Fame game was last canceled in 2016 due to unsafe field conditions, and in 2011 amid the lockout.


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The Cincinnati Bengals will have to cover the first six to eight rows of seats at Paul Brown Stadium for home games in 2020 to aid in social distancing.

Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported NFL owners passed the motion.

The move will aid in social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic but also help all NFL teams recoup some of the financial losses of not being able to fully pack the stands with sold tickets. Revenue losses could potentially have a big impact on future salary caps.

This isn’t exactly what fans or teams want to hear, and especially not in Cincinnati given Joe Burrow’s first season. But it’s a smart response for the times and current global conditions and one other sports leagues that have resumed — such as the EPL — have already put into effect.

No word yet on how the Bengals specifically will handle this when it comes to fans who already have tickets in those now restricted areas. But plenty of time between now and kickoff remains — and by then, the NFL, state and federal guidelines could change again as the global situation continues to develop.

For now, at least, we have a better idea of what games at PBS might look like in 2020.

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Certainly a daily moving target. AFAIK only Texas has stated that fans will be allowed at games--25% capacity and lots of rules. 


Ohio hasn't stated anything official.  Some talk--concerning THE mostly--of "maybe" 30K, but again, just talk.


The state announced County Fairs and Exhibitions can reopen--but with "grandstand capacity" limited to 2500 max. All of the 6-ft separation and other requirements also. 

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1 hour ago, Le Tigre said:

Certainly a daily moving target. AFAIK only Texas has stated that fans will be allowed at games--25% capacity and lots of rules. 


Ohio hasn't stated anything official.  Some talk--concerning THE mostly--of "maybe" 30K, but again, just talk.


The state announced County Fairs and Exhibitions can reopen--but with "grandstand capacity" limited to 2500 max. All of the 6-ft separation and other requirements also. 

Wow.  Better get your tickets to the Joey Chirwood Auto Thrill Show early.

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On 6/19/2020 at 7:34 PM, tibor75 said:

I wouldn't mind a cancelled season at all.  The Bengals are rebuilding - they aren't likely to win anyway.  A wasted year of Rapistburger would be fine by me. 

Burrow is already coming into the league on the old side for a rookie. I don’t want to waste a year of him. 

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46 minutes ago, Jason said:

Burrow is already coming into the league on the old side for a rookie. I don’t want to waste a year of him. 


An older rookie isn't a bad thing. It probably improves his chances of early career success. If he heads off to the Hall of Fame at age 38, we might lament not having a couple more seasons but I'll take the years of high level play and be grateful.

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A Proposed Solution for NFL Roster Management Amid COVID-19 Pandemic


NFL training camps are scheduled to begin in a little less than a month, and the league, as it’s done all along, remains insistent that it intends to play a full season.


As such, the NFL will soon be rolling out policies to help the 32 teams navigate these uncertain times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is sure to cover everything from A to Z regarding football operations.


One of the biggest areas that need to have guidelines in place is roster management in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak on a team.


Earlier this month, the league sent a memo to all 32 teams with guidelines for social distancing, restricted access by tiers and increased cleansing and sanitation mandates, but did not address the handling of rosters as teams do eventually hit the field.


So what happens if a team has an outbreak?  The official answer remains to be seen, but in researching what other leagues have done, I came up with a few different concepts that I think might work for the NFL, the biggest being the "Team 9" concept.


What is “Team 9” and What are the Benefits?


Already there has been talk of increasing practice squad limits to 16 men, but I could see the league taking that a step further by implementing a concept that the short-lived XFL implemented known as “Team 9.”


"Team 9" was a 40-member squad of players who received pro-level coaching. Those players received coaching and strength and conditioning guidance and were able to work on their craft just like the members of the eight XFL teams did. The lone exception was that "Team 9" players did not compete in weekly games.


Still, the concept was a good one because if an XFL team needed a player at a specific position on short notice, the team could call up a "Team 9" member to fill in.


"Team 9" could serve as a replacement for the weekly workouts teams are known to have to create “short lists” of players they keep on speed dial in the event of an opening.


By having a group of players based in a neutral location where COVID-19 cases are under control, this concept would eliminate the need for NFL teams to hold weekly group workouts and it could also potentially produce a more game-ready player.


How the NFL Could Deploy This System

It’s not yet known how often or on what days teams will be testing players for COVID-19, but it is assumed that testing will take place multiple times a week, including, presumably, within 24 hours of game day.


So what happens if a player or cluster of players tests positive?


The first course of action would be to quarantine those players for a minimum of 14 days. To accommodate for a minimum 14-day quarantine, the NFL could adopt Major League Baseball’s “injured list” concept in which a player placed on a short-term exemption list and doesn’t count against a team’s roster. 


If the player is well enough to be activated at the end of his exemption term, he would be eligible to be immediately added back to the roster.


The NFL currently doesn’t have such a system in place (though it used to years ago). Currently, if a player is placed on injured reserve, he is done for the season unless the team designates him as one of the three players designed for return.


Even in those instances, the player still must sit on injured reserve for a minimum number of weeks, not counting the “evaluation” window teams have in determining if he’s ready to return.


That process would likely have to change for a player who specifically tests positive for COVID-19. If that happens, the minimum a player would be unavailable to his team would be 14 days while he isolates. 


In the meantime, the NFL could allow for teams to place the player on a 15-day minimum exemption list, at which point a team would have to draw from its practice squad first to fill the position.


To be eligible to tap into the "Team 9" talent pool, a team would have to lack sufficient depth to replace a player or players diagnosed with COVID-19.


To be clear, the above-proposed plan would only apply to COVID-19 cases. Injuries that normally pop up in football would, under this proposed scenario, follow existing rules that are already in place so as to avoid creating a strain on tapping into the reserve talent pool that's on stand-by given a still somewhat unpredictable virus.




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6 hours ago, sparky151 said:


An older rookie isn't a bad thing. It probably improves his chances of early career success. If he heads off to the Hall of Fame at age 38, we might lament not having a couple more seasons but I'll take the years of high level play and be grateful.

You would think, but statistically it's the other way around.  The older a player is in his first pro year playing the less likely he is to be successful.

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On 6/29/2020 at 5:21 PM, Jason said:

You would think, but statistically it's the other way around.  The older a player is in his first pro year playing the less likely he is to be successful.


So, applying that to this year's QB class, you think that Burrow (and Herbert) are less likely to succeed than Tua? 

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6 hours ago, sparky151 said:


So, applying that to this year's QB class, you think that Burrow (and Herbert) are less likely to succeed than Tua? 

Actually, I slightly misspoke.  If your first year comes at like 24 or later, statistically you have a small chance of succeeding.  Burrow could well be an excpetion, especially under those circumstances, but I don't want to waste a year of him either, especially since he is already 23.

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Report: NFL to cut preseason schedule in half because of COVID-19

The NFL has taken its next scheduling step in response to the coronavirus.

After the cancellation of the Hall of Fame gamebetween the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Stealers, the NFL plans to cut its four-week preseason in half, Pro Football Talk reports. Games scheduled for Week 1 and Week 4 will be canceled, according to the report.

Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that the NFLPA hasn’t yet signed off on the ideawith some in union leadership questioning whether the league should play any preseason games.

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus appeared to confirm the NFLN report in a tweet later Wednesday. McManus is the Broncos’ union representative. 
“Be ready for 1 or 0 preseason games. Won’t be 2“


Will NFL regular season go on?

A nationwide spike in coronavirus cases has prompted concerns that plans to restart sports are in peril. So far, the NFL has given no indication that it plans to alter its regular-season schedule. The league’s stance since the pandemic took hold in the United States has been that the games will go on.

Aside from plans to close off lower-level seating in closer proximity to players to make way for digital advertising, the league has not publicly wavered on its plan to allow fans in the stands.

Meanwhile, several states that moved to reopen during the pandemic have since pulled back those efforts as coronavirus cases have spiked across the South and West. Those states include Florida, 





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Report: NFLPA unanimously votes against having any preseason games amid COVID-19 pandemic

The NFL has already reportedly cut its preseason schedule in half due to the COVID-19 pandemic this week.

The NFL Players Association, however, apparently wants them all gone.


The NFLPA’s board of player representatives voted unanimously to recommend not playing any preseason games at all this fall on Thursday night, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

The NFL has yet to formally announce the elimination of two preseason games — it’s expected to cut Week 1 and Week 4. According to ESPN, it’s not clear if the league will even listen to the NFLPA’s recommendation.

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NFL needs ‘Hail Mary’ to beat coronavirus and get on field | COMMENTARY

Mike Preston
JUL 04, 2020 AT 5:00 AM

National Football League training camps are still a few weeks away from opening but a “Hail Mary” pass has to be thrown soon.

These are desperate times for the NFL.


Throughout this COVID-19 outbreak the league has continued with business as usual. Maybe that was because other pro leagues such as the NBA or Major League Baseball were going to start up again and the NFL wanted to maintain enthusiasm.

Or maybe league officials were showing arrogance, but it’s time to see the game plan.


I’m not an infectious disease expert, a top league administrator or head coach, but I’ve played and coached enough football to know that it appears nearly impossible to complete a quality 2020 season without a vaccine.


Every day now the United States seems to set a record for positive cases, and it makes one wonder how the league can control the virus in a contact sport such as football.


We’re not talking baseball here. We’re talking mano-a-mano, in-your-face, down-and-dirty, gritty, clobber-each-other football. The masks worn in this game certainly won’t prevent infections from spreading.


There has been talk about keeping social distancing. Teammates might have lockers 6 feet apart and there will be similar distances between players in meeting rooms. There also has been speculation about alternating practices with offensive players coming in during the morning and defensive players in the afternoon to cut down on the interactions.


But that’s not what sports, especially football, is about.


Team chemistry is built from the bonding sessions in the locker and weight rooms as well as endless amounts of meeting sessions.


Physical contact is key for the development of a team. Walk-through practices have their place but players only get better through contact drills and facing the same speed of the game that they will see on Sunday afternoons.


Timing and knowing how the player next to you will react in certain situations are vital. The bottom line: they got to hit.


And when that happens the chances of contracting the virus increases especially in 2-hour daily practices or 3-hour games.


These players won’t quarantine themselves outside the facility. They are young men, in some cases 22 or 23 year olds, making millions of dollars a season. They want to hit the streets. They want to be social. They are going to party.

And after one night, one player might eventually contaminate many others.


There is also the potential problem with specialists such as kicker Justin Tucker, punter Sam Koch or a long snapper getting the virus. In a bind Tucker or Koch could do both but a lot of teams don’t have that luxury. A game winner such as Tucker can’t be replaced.


NFL teams also have to be concerned about travel and overnight stays in hotels. It’s one thing to play a game in a well-managed state such as Maryland, but does Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti want his team travelling to a national hot spot such as Texas or Florida?


There has been a lot of talk about trimming training camp rosters from 90 to 80 or 75 players. That sounds good in theory unless a team gets hits hard by the virus later.


The NFL gave an indication of the seriousness of the virus problem when it recently canceled the first and fourth games of the preseason. From what I’ve heard, there is a possibility the first four games of the regular season could be called off as well. At this point, regular-season games might look a lot like preseason contests.


There is a belief that a lot of the NFL players will be able to handle COVID-19 because they are well-trained and conditioned. But the virus has hit the African American community hard and the NFL is predominantly Black with some players having underlying health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.


Regardless, the NFL as well as college football will continue with business as usual and it will only change if several players die in football or other sports.


That’s harsh, but it is a reality. And then they will finally wait until there is a vaccine.


But maybe the NFL has a big pass play to succeed, like the long 70-yard touchdown pass former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw to receiver Jacoby Jones in the 2013 postseason.


They better have something.


The NFL and COVID-19 are about to butt heads.




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This is ridiculous. The NFL has leverage in this situation. The NFLPA is representing a group that notoriously doesn't put money away for times like this. The players need this season to go on as scheduled in order to keep up with their expenses. Use that leverage to ensure adequate practice time and exhibition games take place. With no practice time, the product on the field is going to be atrocious, leading to fewer viewers, and even less revenue this season. 


I don't understand what the average player is wary about. COVID cases are up, and truthfully, that might be a good thing. We can inch closer to eventual herd immunity. Deaths peaked in mid-April and have been relatively flat for awhile. The death rate has proven to be extremely small. Furthermore, the methods being used to count positive tests are flimsy. I've seen examples of people going in for elective surgery, testing positive for COVID, and being classified as a "hospitalization". We also now have "probable cases", which indicates anyone who may have been in contact with a confirmed case, who shows any symptoms. So if my neighbor tests positive, and my child has a cough, that can now be considered a positive case. In addition, positive antibody tests are being considered "new cases". That's insane. Someone may have had it in February or March and never showed a symptom. Now they're being counted as an additional case. 

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Buccaneers' Bruce Arians on COVID-19 in 2020 season: Every player will 'get sick, that's for sure'

The 67-year-old coach -- a three-time cancer survivor -- says he's taking extra precautions for his own health

Cody Benjamin

The NFL Players Association is reportedly pushing for a total elimination of 2020 preseason games, as well as a potential opt-out scenario for players in the regular season, in part because players themselves could be at a higher risk for the coronavirus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At least one NFL head coach would likely agree with any extra precautions, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Bruce Arians saying Monday that he expects every single player to "get sick" during the 2020 season.


"We've got to be careful," Arians said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "The players, they're going to all get sick, that's for sure. It's just a matter of how sick they get."


This comes on the heels of NFL Network's report that the league plans to test not only players but also their families and cohabitants for COVID-19 ahead of training camp, which is still scheduled to start later this month.


At 67, Arians himself added that he'll be operating differently in 2020 because of COVID-19. As the Times noted, prior to 2019, the former Arizona Cardinals coach had not finished a full season as a head coach without at least one trip to the hospital. A three-time cancer survivor, Arians also stepped down as Cardinals coach following the 2017 campaign, despite having additional seasons under contract, because of health concerns.


"I got to be real careful," he said Monday. "I'll probably double with a mask and a (face) shield. You know, because l already had my scare out there (in Arizona) once a couple of years ago. For me personally, I've got a plan and I just have to be smart enough to stay with it."




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Panthers' Tre Boston questions timing of NFL training camps amid COVID-19 pandemic: 'How can we start?'

Several players around the league share this concern ahead of July camps

Patrik Walker

Tre Boston is just one of many NFL players who demand answers from the league ahead of training camp, but it's unknown when the Carolina Panthers safety will get the ones he's hoping for. Time is rapidly ticking away as the league and NFLPA attempt to get everything figured out in order for training camps to begin on time in late July, but it feels like things are moving in the opposite direction as COVID-19 spikes shatter records around the country. As recently as early June, both sides appeared on equal footing when releasing a memo detailing mandatory coronavirus prevention protocols for teams, but the relationship has taken a sour turn for the second time this year -- the first being during the exceedingly contentious negotiation of the new collective bargaining agreement. 


The latest rift sees the two sides squaring off on multiple points yet again, from player safety to revenue qualms. In attempting to give players more time to acclimate ahead of the scheduled September start to the season, the NFL shortened the preseason by two games, but that's not something the NFLPA signed off on. Instead, the latter unanimously voted to scrap the 2020 preseason altogether, but that proposal was met with a rebuttal that was less of a counteroffer and more of an echo of the first proposition.


And, in a move the union views as a proverbial twisting of the knife, the NFL wants to hold 35 percent of players' salaries in escrow this coming season as a means of helping to soften the blow from likely lost revenue caused by the absence of fans in stadiums.


"Basically, we told them to kick rocks," said NFLPA executive Don Davis on a recent conference call with players regarding the escrow proposal, via NFL Network. 


If you're keeping score at home, that makes two poignant issues the NFL and NFLPA vehemently disagree on, and only a couple weeks or so from the scheduled start of camp.


"Well, yet another NFLPA call and still 1,000 unanswered questions!" Boston wrote on Twitter, lamenting the lack of resolutions and the reemergence of a rift between the union and the league. "Rookies report in 11 days -- vets [in] 21! Please tell me how we're getting info on time to get acclimated??? States are closing but we have to move our families to these states and play. 


"Make it make sense! How can we start?"


Again, Boston's confusion is one shared by many around the league, including teams themselves. 


As it stands, the NFLPA is dug-in on a longer acclimation period that leaves no room for a preseason, and they're outright refusing to accept an escrow plan when the CBA allows for any revenue loss to be spread across the salary cap over the next decade. It remains to be seen if the NFL will eventually bend on one point or the other, or neither, but every day that passes without the two sides coming to terms is another that threatens a timely start of not only training camp, but of the regular season as well.


They agree on the safety protocols, but not much more, and that's a problem.




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The Ivy League has announced there will be no fall sports.  I know they aren't FBS, but this may eventually lead to all college football getting cancelled.

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I read the Big 10 may resort to a 10 game conference-only schedule.  The likelihood is that many states may not allow games and those who can play will do so.  I don't think playing in the spring is very appealing since it will impact the 2021 season and the NFL would be against it.  College football is going to be hurt no matter what, but the only thing they can save is the TV money and putting as many games on it as possible.  I predict the Big 5 will probably all play except possibly the Pac 12.

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11 hours ago, I_C_Deadpeople said:

There is simply too much money tied up in big school sports to not play



The athletics budget of the vast majority of division 1 schools is paid for by football and basketball.  No football and basketball and let the bloodletting begin in the athletic programs.  Most athletic budgets are separate from the academic budgets, so to dip into endowment, etc. would be a big problem at most institutions.  The Ivies don't give athletic scholarships, so their situation is quite different.  I can tell you that kids that play non-revenue D1 sports are very nervous right now.

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