Updates on the NFL-coronavirus front keep emerging. Here is the latest on where the league stands in its effort to proceed amid the pandemic:
- The NFL is expected to lower its roster limit from the 90-man number before training camp, but some are concerned about camps beginning on time. Some in the league are questioning if camps can begin July 28 because of the issues COVID-19 is causing, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes. Record case numbers have struck NFL states Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, with numerous other states also dealing with extensive difficulties nearly four months after the pandemic effectively shut down American sports. College football teams have seen rampant positive tests. The country’s present coronavirus state not improving rapidly would make NFL camps difficult.
- As for what might happen if every team must cut players before camp, Mike Jones of USA Today notes a possibility exists of teams still rostering 90 players — which some in the NFLPA would prefer — but only taking a certain number to camp. This would seemingly create a reserve squad in the event higher-profile players test positive for COVID-19.
- The NFL is not planning a universal attendance policy, and the league is considering asking fans to sign liability waivers to protect the league from COVID-19-generated lawsuits, Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reports (subscription required). The people who attended President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla., last month were required to sign liability waivers.
- Numerous changes to the NFL’s calendar have occurred this year, and the league is operating under the impression it will not have locked-in protocols this season. “I absolutely expect that our protocols will change and will evolve as we go through the regular season based upon some of this new knowledge,” NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said, via the Associated Press. “That’s the nature of medical practice: that we’re always looking to improve based upon emerging knowledge and emerging data and those things will change.” The NFL has already issued a number of social-distancing directives, and the adjustments to its standard operating procedure indicate fans should be prepared for more changes.