NFL Considering Postseason Bubble

As we’ve seen through the first handful of weeks of the 2020 season, handling COVID-19 outbreaks can be a logistical nightmare. Just this past week, one team forced the NFL to radically change up their schedule, switching up games and bye weeks for a handful of franchises.

The league obviously hopes to avoid that kind of chaos later in the season when it’s less easy to change things on the fly, and it appears they could look to the NBA for inspiration. The NFL is considering a playoff bubble, where playoff games would be played at predetermined neutral sites, sources told Lindsay Jones and Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic.

Los Angeles and Dallas are apparently two potential destinations, the sources indicated. One scenario apparently on the table is playing wild card games like normal, then moving into the bubble for the divisional and conference championship rounds, then moving on to Tampa Bay to play the Super Bowl as planned.

Don’t expect them to go full-blown bubble, as the sources said that the league isn’t giving any consideration to altering course and moving into an in-season bubble with all 32 teams. It’s an interesting proposition, and one that would make a lot of sense. If something like the Titans’ situation happened in the playoffs, with dozens of COVID-19 cases, it’s hard to imagine a sensible way to work around it.

Jones and Kaplan also make it seem like a Week 18 is inevitable at this point, with some games being pushed into early January. Once teams have already had their bye weeks it will be nearly impossible to move things around like they did this past week, and one source said it’s a matter of when, not if, there becomes a Week 18. Another source said they’ll likely only play Week 18 games that have playoff implications, so some teams could wind up playing only 15 regular season games.

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11 comments on “NFL Considering Postseason Bubble

  1. JJB0811

    It won’t happen in LA. California is not letting any fans in. Florida has the largest attendance for all states. And we all know Goodell LOVES making money.

        • jsay2948

          By the time December/January comes around we are not going to be able to have fans in any stands anywhere. The darkest days of Covid are ahead of us, I’m afraid.

        • mgomrjsurf

          Orlando should be used because has 4 Stadiums to use where UCF plays,UCF’s former home is still their,Cracker Jack Stadium maybe,where Orlando FC play.

    • Polish Hammer

      The NFL loves making money but for them that comes from tv contracts with stadium attendance further down the list.

      • Rich

        Wait until the Salary Cap for 2021 conversations to occur and you’ll learn how important the stadium attendance revenue is/was.

  2. Yep it is

    You still will have idiots like the Titans going out and ignoring the rules. Instead of changing everyone’s schedule why don’t they just make them forfeit

    • rondon

      Loss of draft picks is more realistic. But forfeits? No. Why should any team get an unearned victory?

  3. crosseyedlemon

    I doubt the league would even need post season bubble sites if they can keep it together for another 13 weeks…but that’s the catch.

  4. bradthebluefish

    They have to do a playoff bubble. Highly bet the bubble locations will be Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Large cities, new stadiums, and easy for teams to travel to from LV to LA.

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