COVID’s impact on NFL season

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COVID-19 impacts the leagues schedule as well as players mental health.

COVID-19 has restricted football fans from attending games and caused numerous games to be canceled and rescheduled, messing with the teams’ season-long schedule.

NFL commissioner Roger Godell is doing his best to protect his players, by strictly enforcing COVID protocols and guidelines. He is making the players take daily COVID tests to ensure that they do not contract the virus. Despite these efforts, there have been 14 games rescheduled throughout the first 11 weeks.

While the NHL and NBA both isolated their teams in a bubble for the time that they were playing so that they could not receive any outside contact, the NFL did not.. The NFL has been impacted the largest out of every league that has played during the pandemic, and if they want to have playoffs, they must follow COVID guidelines.

Some football fans find it hard to watch games without seeing crowds of fans in the stadium. Junior Ethan Moon said, “Watching games without fans is just not the same. COVID is not just impacting the season schedule, but is impacting my interest in watching as well. The fans are crucial to what makes the game so exciting.”

Moon thinks that fans fuel the players and the loss of their presence is bad for the players and takes a huge hit on the excitement of watching the games on TV.

Players who did not feel comfortable playing had the option to opt out of the season, which led to a loss of players and affected cap space and roster space. The NFL has implemented a playoff extension by adding two more teams into the playoffs, and expanding the regular season to 18 weeks since so many games have been canceled.

COVID-19 seems to be affecting teams on and off the field. Radio Talk show host of Team 980, Scott Linn said “Do I miss the crowd? As a fan, yes. That, for some, has a very important role on gameday morale, for sure. The bottom line is, the owners wanted revenue and the players wanted to play and get paid. That goal in place, the sides came up with a pretty strict plan involving testing and penalties. Goodell and the league have not been afraid to penalize those in violation, thus drawing a line in the sand and forcing many to think twice before wearing a mask around one’s chin.”

Despite multiple COVID-19 scares, the NFL has been doing a good job staying open and as of now they are expected to have a complete playoff. As a fan, all you can do is pray that the season will finish on schedule, but the future is unknown.