NFL taking precautions with COVID-19

photo+from+Creative+Commons.

photo from Creative Commons.

Ethan Walker, Staff Writer

This year’s NFL season is one that will not be forgotten, one where some teams won’t even allow fans at the games. Over 15 games have already been postponed to later dates, and that number is only to go up from here. This is all due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has impacted almost everyone’s lives. The NFL has had many bumps in the road, but the season is still expected to finish on time for now.

“I think the NFL has taken very good precautions to ensure that their players do not get the coronavirus,” said senior Brandon Ahart. “They have measures inside their facilities and are often tested so people can know when they do or don’t have it.”

These necessary precautions may have limited the risk of contracting COVID-19, but it has sparked another serious issue, injuries. This season, there has been a spike in the number of players getting hurt more each week. Lots of these injuries are season-ending. Some of the players who have suffered these include Saquon Barkely, Odell Beckham Jr., Dak Presscott, and Nick Bosa, just to name a few. Many people think the reasoning for this is because the players didn’t have enough high-intensity practice with their respective teams during the off-season/pre-season.

“I think that injuries due to not having preseason workouts have been more impactful for most teams as they have lost many star players,” said Senior Wyatt Busick. They haven’t been able to adjust to the grind of getting hit so much. They also have been unable to work together so more mistakes are made and injuries occur.”

Although most people, including league executives, have taken notice of this issue, they have to just deal with it as there is nothing that can be done now to help. Another big topic floating around the league is whether or not fans should be allowed at games.

“The teams that have had fans have all handled it very well and it has been successful, so it should be allowed for all teams,” said Busick.

Some teams only allow immediate family members of players/coaches and front office staff at their games. Some teams allow only a certain percentage of fans, including the Kansas City Chiefs who are limited to 22% of stadium capacity. Some teams do not allow any fans at their games. So far, no teams allow their stadium to reach maximum capacity.

“Maybe the end of this year, but next year fans will be allowed into some team’s stadiums,” said sophomore Camden Beebe.

Many think the NFL has done a good job monitoring COVID-19, but other sports leagues such as the NBA, WNBA, and NHL have taken it to the next step by keeping their teams (players and staff) in their respective bubbles. In this case, a bubble is an isolation zone where games are played between teams in that zone to protect them from the coronavirus. Some say that the NFL should also take their safety precautions to the next step such as creating a bubble or explore other possibilities.

“The NFL is doing good for now, but they’re not taking it seriously enough because a bubble is more effective and it is a good way to monitor their regulations and keep people controlled,” said Ahart. “I don’t think the NFL has to create a bubble to be completely safe, but they should explore more options.”