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72 NFL players test positive for COVID-19, players' union says

(Reuters) - With training camps set to open in less than two weeks, 72 National Football League players had tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 10, according to the players’ association.

It was not immediately clear who the players were or which teams they play for.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-nfl/72-nfl-players-test-positive-for-covid-19-players-union-says-idUSKCN24H2YM

 

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NFL will place players who test positive for COVID-19 on IR for three weeks

Posted by Mike Florio on July 16, 2020, 2:37 PM EDT
 

Yes, the NFL and NFL Players Association already have reached an agreement regarding the procedures for dealing with players who test positive for COVID-19.

 

Per a league source, the league intends to change the injured reserve rules to create a COVID-19 classification. Players who test positive will be placed on the COVID-19 list for three weeks, creating a roster spot that would then be filled with a player who is negative for the virus.

 

The players on the COVID-19 list would be paid their normal salaries.

 

It’s unclear what will happen if a player on the COVID-19 list can’t return after three weeks, at which time he will be eligible to return to practice. He must be returned to the active roster within three weeks after that, or he will revert to IR (absent an injury settlement).

 

The goal will be to keep the roster strong and to avoid shutting players down for the full season. The broader objective will be to keep the league from collapsing if teams suffer outbreaks that shut them down.

 

The procedures haven’t been finalized. The league’s owners, who are due to meet tomorrow, quite possibly will vote on the measure then.

 

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/07/16/nfl-will-place-players-who-test-positive-for-covid-19-on-ir-for-three-weeks/

 

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NFL coronavirus update: GMs expect training camp delay; opt out deadline for players; 1 preseason game?

Updated 6:26 AM; Today 6:22 AM
 
Thursday saw several developments in the NFL as the league prepares its return amid the coronavirus pandemic. Owners and NFLPA are trying to hammer out an agreement on changes related to player safety because of the COVID-19 crisis.
 

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports “the #Chiefs are telling players camp is a go, with rookies and QBs to report for COVID-19 testing Monday, sources tell me and @RapSheet. There’s no agreement on outstanding issues between the NFL and NFLPA, I’m told. But team has right under the CBA to tell players to report.”

 

The Chiefs are scheduled open the regular season three days early when they host the Houston Texans on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Pelissero also reports “another key piece of the NFL’s proposal: Any player may opt out of the 2020 season with written notice by Aug. 1.”

 

CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reports he “spoke to several NFL GMs on a multitude of topics (Thursday) - none believed camps would be opening ‘on time’ as currently projected for veterans next weekend.”

 

As for the preseason, “a league source tells (Pro Football Talk) that one preseason game is currently the ‘very likely’ outcome to the negotiations aimed at getting the various rules resolved before camps open. Ideally, the games would consist of minimal travel (e.g., Jets vs. Giants, Chargers vs. Rams, Ravens vs. TBD), with the goal of having all games proceed with no teams flying.”

 

The league previously discussed the idea of cutting the preseason in half by eliminating the exhibition games on Weeks 1 and 4. The players had indicated they would like all of the preseason games canceled.

 

https://www.nj.com/giants/2020/07/nfl-coronavirus-update-gms-expect-training-camp-delay-opt-out-deadline-for-players-1-preseason-game.html

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4 hours ago, Le Tigre said:

NFL doctors say anything NFL pays them to say

"Nobody really knows where concussions come from.  Rub some dirt on it."  - NFL doctor who is totally not a spineless money-grubbing whore

 

 

  • Upvote 3

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A fall without football a real possibility because of COVID-19 as NFL players, others raise questions

For the prospect of football being played this fall, Monday is noteworthy.

 

Rookies are expected to report for training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, the teams set to play each other Sept. 10 in the NFL’s scheduled season opener.

 

NFL rookies for the league’s other 30 teams are expected to report Tuesday. Veterans are set to arrive at training camps July 28 as the league moves forward with its plan to play the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

“We’ve never wavered from that," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports. “It would be news if we said we aren’t playing the season. But we’ve never come close to saying that."

 

Yet as COVID-19 cases spike to unprecedented levels in the United States, the possibility of fall without football is more than a notion.

 

The Ivy League has canceled football and all other fall sports, and the Patriot League, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Colonial Athletic Association followed suit.

 

The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they have canceled non-conference games, and there’s reason to wonder if college football players might never take the field this season.

 

Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, last week referred to a document he said lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable can be achieved.

 

“Today, sadly," he added, “the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic."

 

Then there are the high schools ranks, with Virginia and New Mexico having canceled football for this fall and 12 other states have delayed the season, said Bruce Howard, director of communications for the National Federation of State High School Associations. But several states remain undecided about the fall, with many decisions coming in the next few weeks.

 

Yet the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) continue to get closer to finalizing a deal to play the 2020 season that would culminate with Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 in Tampa Bay.

 

Ravina Kuller, an infectious disease expert, warns the plan could result in tragedy — the death of an NFL player.

 

“I’m a huge football lover," Kuller said. “Stealers fan. I bleed yellow and black. And it pains me to see that football might not happen until next year. But those players’ health is at stake here.

“You might need to see these football players go to the ICU or end up dying for them to step back and cancel games."

 

So how is it that the NFL continues to move forward with optimism, and what does it say about the prospect for football in the fall?

 

Money remains a powerful motivator for a league that generates about $15 billion a year.

 

Amesh Adalja, a member of the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel, said the lucrative NFL contracts will be able to incentivize players to adhere to safety protocols such as social distancing.

“You can’t do that for a college athlete because they’re students first," said Adalja, an infectious disease scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Sometimes people forget that. Those bubbles are very difficult to enforce in a college environment because you will find people are in college to meet people and do things and not just to play football. And I think that makes it much more challenging to do that in a college level."

 

Since college football players began reporting in June for voluntary workouts, dozens of them have tested positive for COVID-19. However, there are no reports of any being hospitalized.

 

High school players across the country have participated in workouts at the same time, and there has been one report of a player being hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.

 

“I do think it is true that the younger, healthy folks, even if they get infected, they don’t seem to end up needing hospitalization as much," said Ann Marie Pettis, President-Elect of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. “During the football season, if they do have family members or grandparents at risk, perhaps they quarantine themselves from those family numbers.

 

“So I think that’s another possible way to go if they do make the decisions to move forward.’’

 

Dr. Charlotte Baker, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Department of Population of Health Sciences at Virginia Tech, suggests people are overlooking the obvious.

 

“We still have this gigantic obstacle called COVID-19," she said. “It’s not going away anytime soon. I think that’s really the biggest point. That really dictates what it is we can and can’t do and what we should and should not do."

 

Yet the NFL marches forward — and gladly explains how and why.

 

A medical committee that includes Duke’s Infection Control Education for Major Sports was formed in March by the NFL and NFLPA. The group set forth protocols it said would allow the NFL to play this fall.

The league and players have continued to negotiate the terms of the protocols — such as the number of preseason games and the frequency of COVID-19 testing.

 

“Another thing is we’ve been working directly with the White House (Coronavirus) Task Force," said McCarthy, vice president of Communications for NFL. “We’ve been working directly with the CDC, so the CDC has reviewed the protocols.

 

“We’ve also talked to every (NFL) market government officials, including mayors, county executives, governors as well. And all our plans, we sent to them to make sure they’re aware and they have comfort level that we can have players going into training camps, players having games."

 

At the same time NFL training camps get underway, the NBA and Major League Baseball are scheduled to start their regular seasons.

 

“The NFL will have the ability to learn from those other sports," Adalja said. “It’s not quite the same, but there’s still some lessons to learn about testing frequency and protocols and how to deal with contact tracing and quarantine issues.

“Eventually it’s going to come down to what is the risk and what’s people’s risk tolerance to do that. And it’s much different when the athletes are being paid versus when they’re not being paid and when you have the resources to set up a testing regimen as well as to have some sort of bubble-type procedure, which you can do. Because for a professional athlete, this is their profession, this is their job."

 

Last week, Tampa Bayleft tackle Donovan Smith expressed his concerns via social media. His wife is pregnant and their first child is expected in three weeks, he wrote.

 

“Risking my health as well as my family’s heath does not seem like a risk worth taking," Smith wrote. “How can a sport that requires physical contact on every snap and transferral of all types of bodily fluid EVERY SINGLE PLAY practice safe social distancing? How can I make sure that I don’t bring COVID-19 back to my household?’’

 

On Sunday, the NFLPA coordinated a Twitter blitz from players around the league.

 

“What you are seeing (Sunday) is our guys standing up for each other and the work their union leadership has done to keep everyone as safe as possible," NFLPA president and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter tweeted in explaining the purpose of the blitz. “The NFL needs to listen to our union and adopt the experts’ recommendations #wewanttoplay”

 

And so forward the NFL moves, with the NCAA’s Power Five schools and high school football in states like Florida and Texas still set to follow.

 

Will football be played this fall and, if so, played safely?

 

“It’s just so controversial and for good reason, because football (involves) so much contact," said Pettis, who has more than 30 years of experience as an infection preventionist. “It’s one of the things that is very, very difficult to give a definite answer.

 

“Or, I should say, you can give a definite answer, but is it going to be the right answer?”

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2020/07/20/covid-19-puts-nfl-college-high-school-football-danger-fall/5467636002/

 

 

 

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NFL, NFLPA agree to daily COVID-19 testing

The NFL and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on one of the biggest lingering issues regarding the approach to pro football in a pandemic.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL has agreed to conduct daily COVID-19 testing.

 

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the daily testing will last for a minimum of two weeks, and that it thereafter can be adjusted. (The players won’t want it to be adjusted.)

The players had pushed aggressively for daily testing. The league had wanted to test less frequently, in part because there are questions regarding the utility of daily testing — in part because test results won’t be available for roughly 24 hours.

Still, more testing is better than less testing. As 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman recently told Peter King, the possibility of false positives and false negatives makes it even more important to test over and over again.

It won’t be cheap, but the NFL will foot the bill. As one source explained it to PFT, BioReference Laboratories and the NFL have a general deal for 120 tests per day, with a flat fee divided by the 32 teams. Extra tests are available to each team at a rate of $125 per test.

 

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/07/20/nfl-nflpa-agree-to-daily-covid-19-testing/

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NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Monday morning that the NFL’s newest proposal to the NFLPA reportedly includes just one preseason game. That’s less than their previous proposal, which reportedly cut the preseason from four games to two. Those two games would have given each team one home game to test out their COVID-19 protocols.


The proposed single preseason game would reportedly take place Aug. 27, which would normally be Week 3 of the preseason. With the players reportedly seeking a 21-day strength and conditioning ramp-up prior to the start of the season, which was recommended by the NFL and NFLPA joint medical committee, that extra week would almost get them to that mark (17 days instead of 21). However, playing any preseason games at all is more than the NFLPA wants.
 

 

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NFL offers zero preseason games and NFL and NFLPA agree on daily COVID-19 testing for first 2 weeks of camp

Updated Jul 21, 2020
 

A day after NFL players launched their massive #WeWantToPlay social media campaign for player safety amid COVID-19, the NFL has agreed to two big issues the NFLPA wanted before reporting to training camp begins July 28 — daily testing and no preseason games.

 

On Monday evening, the NFL offered zero preseason games, which is what the players wanted, a league source told cleveland.com.

 

Originally, the NFL reduced the preseason games from four to two — keeping only the middle two — but the union held firm on zero in the interest of player safety. It eliminated an Aug. 22 game at Green Bay and an Aug. 30 game at home against the Vikings for the Browns.

 

“To engage in two games where players would be flying all over the country and then engaging with each other to work, and to do that prior to the season, doesn’t increase the likelihood of starting and finishing the season on time,” NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said on a conference call with the Pro Football Writers of America last week.

 

The league is also wiling to expand the ramp-up time for players (including no hitting) at the start of camp from seven days to 18. This should help reduce the number of injuries that are likely to occur after such a long layoff. In his most recent letter to players published on the NFLPA website, union president JC Tretter revealed that after the 2011 lockout, injuries increased by 25%. Achilles injuries more than doubled and injured hamstrings increased 44%.

 

NFL players launch the #WeWantToPlay safely campaign

 

If camp starts on time — the Browns’ first practice would be on or about July 29 — they’d have more than six weeks to gear up for the opener in Baltimore on Sept. 13, which will be played in front of about 14,000 fans.

 

The NFL and NFLPA also agreed Monday on daily COVID-19 testing of players for the first two weeks of training camp. Players must test negative twice, 72 hours apart, before entering the facility for camp, according to a memo obtained by cleveland.com. Players must also self-quarantine at their residence or hotel between the two tests. On Day 5, players may enter the facility for the first time, and daily testing for the first two weeks of camp will commence for those in Tier 1 and Tier 2.

 

Tier 1 consists of players, coaches, trainers, physicians and staff members who must have direct access to players. Tier 2 consists of general managers, football operations personnel, security, video personnel and other essential workers who may need direct access to players.

 

Daily testing will continue until the positivity rate decreases to 5% or below.

 

The NFL and NFLPA must still work out the economic issues of players who opt out of the season, and of who will bear the brunt of lost billions in revenue with few or no fans in the stands.

 

The Browns still plan to have a limited number of fans at FirstEnergy Stadium, but the Giants and Jets issued a joint statement Monday that they won’t have fans in the stands at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, where the Browns are scheduled to play back-to-back games this season, Dec. 20 against the Giants and Dec. 26 or 27 against the Jets.

 

Browns rookies, quarterbacks and injured players are due to report July 24, and all other veterans on July 28.

 

https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2020/07/nfl-offers-zero-preseason-games-and-nfl-and-nflpa-agree-on-daily-covid-19-testing-for-the-1st-2-weeks-of-camp.html

 

 

 

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Mandatory Masks and No Tailgating Outside Paul Brown Stadium for 2020 Bengals Games

If fans are allowed in the stands, they'll need to be social distancing and wearing face masks unless actively eating or drinking. (We foresee many people "actively" drinking more beer.)

 

Start practicing how to amplify your "Who-Dey" through a face covering because if you're inside Paul Brown Stadium during a Bengals game for the 2020 season, you're going to need to be wearing a mask.

According to a letter sent out to season ticket holders, the franchise has put some health and safety guidelines in place to protect fans, staff and players from COVID-19 — if they even get approval to have people in the stands during games.

If fans are allowed to attend, here are the requirements:

  • You'll have to have a mask/facial covering on at all times unless you're actively eating or drinking (let's see how that impacts the amount of beer consumed...)
  • Fans will need to socially distance when "moving about the stadium," like while waiting in line for the bathroom, at the concession stand, while entering and exiting, etc.
  • Tailgating in the parking lots will be prohibited
  • Stadium capacity will be "greatly reduced" to accommodate physical distance between seating groups
  • The first eight rows of the lower level will be blocked off

The team says if they do get the go-ahead to have fans in the stands, there will be a stadium-wide re-seating process for season ticket holders. 

Also, all of this is subject to change based on any changes in the laws or NFL guidelines.

If you are a season ticket holder, you have two options: don't do anything and you can still opt out after the re-seating happens in August if you don't like your seats or defer your tickets to 2021 (or get a refund).

 

https://www.citybeat.com/news/sports/blog/21139797/mandatory-masks-and-no-tailgating-outside-paul-brown-stadium-for-2020-bengals-games

 

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NFL COVID-19 cases down, no preseason and smaller rosters

JULY 22, 2020 BY BILL POLLOCK

>>NFL Union Website Claims 59 Players Test Positive

The NFL Players Association said 59 players have tested positive for COVID-19 on its website. Previously it stated 95 players, but updated claiming the larger number included staff.

 

>>Report: NFL Proposes Slimmed Down Camp Rosters

NFL training camps could have less participation this year. Multiple reports say the NFL is proposing a roster size of 80 players to the NFLPA. The rosters would be smaller than the regular 90-man limit as a result of the ongoing coronavirus. The proposal is aimed to help social distancing in team facilities.

 

>>NFL Preseason Games Cancelled

he NFL preseason is off. The Players’ Association said yesterday all exhibition games will be canceled after the typical four-game slate was trimmed to two earlier this year. All teams are set to report to training camp next Tuesday.

 

https://www.missourinet.com/2020/07/22/nfl-covid-19-cases-down-no-preseason-and-smaller-rosters/

 

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NFL facing unending series of questions, uncertain answers


by Barry Wilner, AP Pro Football Writer

Wednesday, July 22nd 2020
AA
826363fa-f771-441d-9cea-e9f36898fded-large16x9_GettyImages1160862609.jpg?1595425298746
Head coach Zac Taylor of the Bengals watches second quarter game action against the Kansas City Chiefs during a preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 10, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
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UNDATED (AP/WKRC) - In seven weeks, the NFL expects to kick off its 101st season with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs hosting Houston and then three days later the Bengals expect to open at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.

 

Emphasis on expect.

 

Still set on conducting a somewhat normal training camp, though without any preseason games, and then opening the regular season on time, the NFL pushes onward.

 

Rookies are reporting to team facilities this week, nearly all of them for the first time. Veterans are set to come in next week, and after testing for COVID-19 and a lengthy acclimation period, practices should begin sometimes next month.

Of course, there are more questions than ever for America's most profitable sports league, most notably how to keep people safe in a contact sport during a pandemic.

 

“Everything that we’re doing is centered around the concept of risk mitigation," says Dr. Allen Sills, the league's chief medical officer. “We know that we can’t eliminate risk, but we’re trying to mitigate it as much as possible for everyone. We know that this is going to be a shared responsibility.”

 

Already this year the NFL has had to switch to remote, well, everything: free agency, the draft, offseason workouts, owners meetings. Now come the biggest and most critical tests as 80-man rosters attempt to stay healthy while preparing to play a game that requires close contact nearly all the time. Roster sizes were reduced from 90 under an agreement Tuesday between the league and the players’ association, according to people familiar with the change who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it has not been announced.

 

“We could have a ton of social distance, more than we have with our football team,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid says. “It’s all set up with monitors and everything else. Then the testing, these guys are going to be tested often. It’ll be good that way. There’s a responsibility for coaches and players to make sure we handle ourselves right when we’re away from it. We are still keeping as much social distance as we can. It’s a contact sport, but when there’s no contact we’re going to keep our distance.”

 

The NFL has been studying the approaches of other sports, seeing the success NASCAR and the PGA Tour have experienced with their traveling shows, and the many issues Major League Baseball has dealt with. But auto racing, golf and baseball don't involve close-quarters action from beginning to end.

 

Thus, the elimination of exhibition games, which went from four to an owners' proposal of two and then to none. The players' association, which also proposed no preseason contests, approved the league's offer on Tuesday, a person familiar with the decision told The AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the offer had not been made public.

 

Getting rid of the exhibitions is one of many steps that will cost owners millions, but a necessary one.

 

The business of pro football will take a major hit, with ramifications extending into next year and beyond, affecting salary caps and contract negotiations and, of course, bottom lines in a league that has $15 billion in revenues. Or did.

 

https://local12.com/sports/bengals/nfl-facing-unending-series-of-questions-uncertain-answers-cincinnati-pro-football-coronavirus-bengals-covid-19

 

 

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3 Weeks on IR for Covid sounds kinda long.  Maybe 2 weeks with a 3rd week optional?

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Fall Without Football: NFL doing everything it can so COVID-19 doesn't cause a shutdown

Ready. Set. Hut. Contingency.

 

The cadence of this projected NFL season, with its own sort of DEFCON 1 threat in tow, is nothing without some crucial audible calls.

 

Sure, training camps are set to open Tuesday, but how will it end?

The most pressing questions don’t involve the chemistry of TB12 and Gronk over 100 yards or the gravitational pull of a Patrick Mahomes throw, but rather the science of playing football in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic. Are they really going to be able to pull this off?

 

NFL, meet trial and error. It’s the Year of the Contingency Plan.

 

It would be a shame to open camps and start the season … only to shut it down.

 

NFL players were so right to push back on health and safety issues during labor talks with owners — and the negotiations are hardly over yet, with significant economic concerns still being discussed — which resulted in key concessions by the league involving the frequency of testing and the preseason. After all, it’s the players who will bear the brunt of the risk in playing during a pandemic, as if the risks of suffering a career-ending injury or long-term effects from concussions aren’t enough.

 

It’s the theme that hasn’t always worked for the NFL Players Association during other labor battles over the decades that were laced with lockouts, strikes, class-action lawsuits and replacement players, but it has sure resonated in 2020: No players, no game. No peace, no labor.

 

Yet it is undoubtedly a matter of joining forces to confront the common foe: COVID-19.

 

What an ominous warning that was recently from straight-shooting Bucs coach Bruce Arians.

 

"We’ve got to be careful," Arians told The Tampa Bay Times in early July. "The players, they’re all going to get sick, that’s for sure. It’s just a matter of how sick they get."

 

Yikes. And when it comes to Covid-19, it could be years before long-term ramifications are known.

 

No, it has never seemed feasible that the NFL could consider the type of "bubble" approach that the NBA has employed in Orlando to resume a season that was suspended in March.

 

Just don’t think the NFL isn’t operating in a bubble. It’s the USA Bubble, with the patterns, hot spots, governmental mandates (or not) and other pandemic developments in society at large shaping the NFL flow.

 

Already, we’ve seen a virtual draft, heard about virtual offseason workouts and rolled with anything-but-virtual uncertainty. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game and enshrinement ceremonies were scrapped, then half the preseason shuttered. This week, the rest of the preseason was canceled, which many fans and participants (although not longshot undrafted rookies) have long deemed useless.

Now the plan — with so many new details and protocols, empty stadiums and $75 million in coronavirus testing in the mix — is to raise the curtain with the opener pitting the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs against the Texans on Sept. 10. Hopefully.

 

The stakes are high — as in multi-billion dollar impact.

 

The best-case scenario at this point is for the 32 teams to hold the fort while players undergo daily testing, the idea being that with cleared participants (plus coaches and support staff) testing negative for COVID-19, they can blitz, swap sweat and pile up as desired. According the NFLPA, 59 players league-wide had tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic through Tuesday night. We’ll see what the infection rate is to a larger degree as players begin reporting to camp, but even if initial results sound alarms, the decreasing test results over the past couple of weeks as the NBA and Major League Baseball have ramped up could be a good sign for the NFL.

 

But what if …

... there are false negatives? The testing to be administered by BioReference Laboratories has a 5% error rate, according to the NFL, which is encouraging on many levels but represents a risk that could wreak havoc on the insulated environment of an NFL team. Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn wasn’t kidding when he said recently that his biggest fear was to suddenly have an entire position wiped out on the eve of a game, due to COVID-19. Testing should alleviate much of the concern, but the possibility of cases slipping through the cracks underscores the need for daily tests (unless the positivity rate after two weeks deceases below 5%) that could signal issues.

 

... the virus is contracted after a player is tested? With a 24-hour window projected to get NFL results back (in the general population, the timeline could be as long as 10 days), it’s conceivable a player previously cleared could become infected while away from the team, even if tested on back-to-back days. A reliable rapid-response test, with point-of-contact results available within an hour, could provide the peace of mind. Yet experts contend that such tests at this point have a reliability rate of about 80%, leaving much gray area.

 

...  a coach tests positive? Some, like Arians, have said they are taking extra precautions, like possibly wearing a face shield in addition to a mask. NFL rules say everyone in a team building must wear a mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said eight out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the U.S. are 65 and older. That range includes some of the NFL's most prominent head coaches. The oldest is Seattle's Pete Carroll who will turn 69 a few days after the season opener. New England's Bill Belichick is 68. Arians will turn 68 in October.

 

 

Perhaps the NFL will benefit from timing. Maybe a more reliable rapid-response test will be available within weeks. We can all also hope that a COVID-19 vaccine will be fast-tracked and widely available within months. Like by the Super Bowl? Don’t hold your breath. And wear a mask. If you attend a game this season, you will be required to.

In the meantime, the NFL’s unusual season will try to roll on without fans in the stands in some places. Competitive balance? Brace yourself for that NFL cornerstone tenet to fall by the wayside as collateral damage of the pandemic, with advantages chalking up to the teams with starting units largely intact (like the Chiefs, with 21 of 22 returning), coaching staffs returning and to teams with some semblance of a home crowd.

 

Damage, too, will obviously extend to the game-day workers and businesses near stadiums who would be shut out if there are no fans in the stands.

 

Are you still ready for some football? Well, the product on the field figures to be rather sloppy at the onset, to say nothing of the increased injury risk after the virtual offseason programs, scrapped preseason and truncated training camps. It was crucial for the NFLPA to push for and receive an extended acclimation period after reporting to camp (18 days of stretching and conditioning) as they seek to reduce risks from the types of injuries (muscle tears, for instance) that come in ramping up too quickly.

 

A fall without football would represent Doomsday for the NFL and its enormous fan base. As far as the NFL is concerned, the show must go on, somehow, some way…even if contingencies include pushing back the season, or starting, then needing to shorten the season.

 

Yet even if the NFL’s best-laid plans work, it will still be a fall without football as we’ve known it.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2020/07/23/nfl-facing-season-of-contingencies-avoid-shutdown-coronavirus/5488589002/

 

 

 

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So the MLB, NBA and NHL are active but somehow the NFL is going to have a problem with their season 7 weeks from now?  What a bunch of clickbait nonsense hysteria to fill the time.

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38 minutes ago, Jamie_B said:

 

That letter is from US PIRG, a lefty organization. It might carry weight with Sanders and AOC or some of the more extreme govs. It won't carry much weight elsewhere. 

 

At the moment, it looks like a couple of the vaccine candidates are on track to have completed their phase 3 trials by September. Governments are paying for mass production of the vaccines already so if they are approved as safe and effective, they can be deployed quickly. So if we're rolling out a vaccine in early October, then we'll probably see a full NFL season and fans back in the stands at some point.

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11 hours ago, Dautcom08 said:

So the MLB, NBA and NHL are active but somehow the NFL is going to have a problem with their season 7 weeks from now?  What a bunch of clickbait nonsense hysteria to fill the time.

MLB, NBA and NHL are all either in "bubble" locations, or highly-controlled stadium play and scheduling,  with lots of isolation rules for players. NBA and NHL are simply trying to complete seasons, and MLB has had to move heaven and earth to even get their scaled-down "season" off the ground. The NFL has nothing nowhere near as controlled a plan--and really hasn't articulated a concrete plan at all.     

 

I watch this stuff on line every day--from many sources of information. Hate to say it, but it is not going to "simply happen" from everything out there available for information.   

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1 hour ago, sparky151 said:

 

That letter is from US PIRG, a lefty organization. It might carry weight with Sanders and AOC or some of the more extreme govs. It won't carry much weight elsewhere. 

 

At the moment, it looks like a couple of the vaccine candidates are on track to have completed their phase 3 trials by September. Governments are paying for mass production of the vaccines already so if they are approved as safe and effective, they can be deployed quickly. So if we're rolling out a vaccine in early October, then we'll probably see a full NFL season and fans back in the stands at some point.

A vaccine by October is REALLY optimistic.

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NFL and NFLPA fighting over potential salary cap reduction

The issue largely stems from how the NFL will handle the impending loss of revenue due to the coronavirus.
 

Training camps are set to open over the next week for all 32 teams.

 

However, on-field team work could be delayed if the NFL and NFLPA can’t agree to a deal on how the season will be conducted amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report from NFL.com.

 

And if no deal is reached, teams may be prevented from allowing players to practice together, and the virtual offseason could essentially be extended into training camp.

A failure to reach a deal by the end of the upcoming weekend could cause virtual work to continue indefinitely.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that owners continue to push for an agreement to lower the salary cap in 2020 and 2021 in anticipation of a multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall this year — proposals the players’ union and general managers believe could lead to a rash of veteran cuts.

There currently is no set deadline to account for such a revenue shortfall, but Pelissero reported ownership wants to finalize a deal before Sunday when the Chiefs and Texans rookies are scheduled to begin strength and conditioning. If there is no agreement by Sunday, Pelissero added the NFL could potentially inform clubs that virtual work will continue indefinitely with no camp schedule agreed to.

The NFL wants to find ways to save money since it will lose millions of dollars largely due to there being limited or even no fans at games this coming season. But taking the players’ money — especially for the 2020 season — doesn’t sound like a fair move at all.

 

It’s one thing to reduce the salary cap for future seasons, but doing so for the remainder of 2020 will put both players and teams in really tough spots with the regular season under two months away now.

 

It will likely force teams to restructure contracts or even outright cut veterans they otherwise planned on keeping. It also hurts teams like the Bengals who need all the cap space they can get to work out new deals for impending free agents A.J. Green and Joe Mixon.

 

Granted, this is a very hard situation in unprecedented times for everyone, so you can’t blame the NFL for trying to find unique ways to overcome the loss of money it’s about to endure.

 

But changing the salary cap for 2020 this close to the start of the season seems like a really bad idea that is now threatening to delay the start of camps, and possibly the regular season.

Be sure to read the full NFL.com report.

 

https://www.cincyjungle.com/2020/7/23/21336416/nfl-news-2020-season-nflpa-salary-cap-space-bengals

 

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3 hours ago, Jamie_B said:

A vaccine by October is REALLY optimistic.

 

Not really. There are a couple of vaccine candidates which have easily cleared their hurdles thus far. They have big enough phase 3 test groups that the FDA will have an easy decision either way. The vaccines are already being produced so once the FDA signs off, they'll be shipping that day. 

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I have worked in the Pharm/Bio industry since December of 1993.  Unless the FDA allows an expedited approval process because of the nature of the pandemic, which is possible, a marketed vaccine by October is a long shot.

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