The 2020 NFL season marks the league’s 101st in existence. It will kick off on Thursday, September 10, with the 2019 defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs versus Houston Texans.
This is exciting news to many fans after the numerous delays with this year’s sporting events. We all know that pandemic caused some pretty substantial changes with how these sports will take place, and that includes the NFL. This NFL season is unlike any other, as there are more changes in store for players, coaches, and fans!
We’ve listed out the things everyone can expect to take over during the start of the single 2020 NFL season.
NFL’s COVID-19 Protocols
The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed upon some gameday and training camp protocols to ensure the league protects its players and reduce unnecessary risks related to the pandemic.
These protocols and changes show just how different the day before and day of a game will be for everyone. Here are how the NFL plans to proceed with the games.
- All training camps will be at team facilities. Every football personnel, including players, coaches, and staff, will be isolated from the rest of the team employees.
- The visiting team is required to stay at the team hotel the night before the game. There will be no gym, restaurants/and other amenities for the players and team personnel. They will be isolated within the lodging facility for any applicable tests and screening.
- There will be two games scheduled in a week so that teams playing against each other have the same bye week. This is done to cover the delays because of the pandemic.
- Visitors and fans are prohibited at team facilities during training camp. However, a team can host two practices where fans can witness in the stands if there’s an approval from the state.
- All meals will be provided to the players, coaches, and staff traveling with the team. Any self-serve buffet-style dining is prohibited. There will also be a food service with an attendant available to maintain appropriate distancing. Everyone is required to use disposable plastic utensils and have condiments in single-serving packets, while water will be served in individual bottles or single-use cups.
- During the game day, fans are not allowed to stay near the player entrance.
- Media personnel are not allowed in the locker room, so there will be no locker room interviews. Most interviews are done via video conference.
- Only network personnel with field access have permission to film arrivals. They must observe distancing of 12 or more feet, and are recommended to utilize robotic or fixed cameras.
- During the whole season, everyone is expected to practice social distancing and wear face coverings while on the road. Players and team personnel are encouraged to avoid any outside contact as well.
- If anyone from the league will get a positive test result, the NFL has contracted a third-party firm for contact tracing and determine whom the person has been in close contact with during the incubation period. They will also use radio-frequency identification tracking devices embedded in every player’s shoulder pads in any instance of in-game exposure to know who that player was in contact within 6 feet during the game.
While these protocols will change as the season progresses to fit any unexpected issues or outcomes, this is what we can all expect during the NFL season.
Exciting Things To Look Forward
Aside from the changes with the gameplay and training set-up to cater to any risks during this pandemic, there are still other exciting things to look forward to and will make you long for football this season. Here are some of them.
- After nearly two decades, the New England Patriots will enter the season with a different starting quarterback than Tom Brady. Jarrett Stidham will most likely get the job instead. At the same time, Brady landed in Tampa Tampa Bay Buccaneers with another former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski. There is undoubtedly a need to witness how Brady will play in Tampa, and how the rest of the Patriots will survive without him. You may want to check the current prop bets before watching this season.
- Dallas Cowboys will be playing against the Eagles, Cardinals, Seahawks, Falcons, and Ravens, which all have bird-related team names. The media dubbed it as the ‘Bird Gauntlet.’ You should never miss these games as no NFL team has ever played and defeated all five of those teams during any season.
- Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback, is this year’s NFL top player because of his incredible play last year. Everyone is looking forward to watching him play again and how his career will progress.
- Everyone is also excited about how the Kansas City Chiefs would play to be back-to-back Super Bowl champions. Many do predict that they won’t live up to it, but we’ll see just how talented the team can come off after their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
This Superbowl season will surely give fans the excitement everyone needed. Don’t miss out on every game of this season as it will surely be a story for any ports history books!