The NFL has been forging ahead in its plans to launch the 2020 season with fans and extensive player safety protocols in place. However, some coaches want the league to pump the brakes and push back the start of the season.
According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, three NFL coaches have expressed their concerns for going forth with the season following news that several Cowboys and Texans players tested positive for COVID-19. Werder reported that one unnamed coach called the situation “scary,” while another advocated for a delay to the season. A third coach “questioned wisdom of playing” amid the current pandemic.
One NFL head coach described as “scary” that #Cowboys and #Texans players – including Ezekiel Elliott – tested positive for Coronavirus. Another HC told me league needs to delay start of the season. A third coach questioned wisdom of playing during a pandemic.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) June 15, 2020
Despite coaches speaking out against the NFL’s current plans, Commissioner Roger Goodell downplayed the array of positive cases to hit players from the Texas teams, including Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
“So positive tests are going to happen,” Goodell said this week on ESPN’s Return Of Sports special. “The issue is, can we obviously prevent as many of those from happening, but in addition, treat them quickly, isolate them and prevent them from directly impacting our player personnel.”
Further pushback from officials within the league could present greater challenges for the NFL season. Dr. Anthony Fauci this week warned that football may not be able to take place this fall given the current plans to have teams travel market to market. Fauci advocated instead for a bubble-like environment that leagues like the MLS, NBA and NHL are adopting for their returns.