While the NFL continues to talk about having the 2020 season be as normal as possible, some head coaches have reportedly expressed doubts about whether or not moving forward in the face of the current global pandemic is the best approach. Appearing on ESPN‘s Get Up on Tuesday, Ed Werder said he talked to six head coaches and at least three of them are concerned about the league’s plans for the 2020 season, as detailed by Adam Wells of Bleacher Report.
“I interacted with approximately six NFL head coaches and one of them said without equivocation that the start of the season needs to be pushed back. He said you know, ‘How in the world are you going to bring 90 players into training camp a month from now?'”
That coach reportedly added the league can put all the safeguards in place that it wants, but eventually players are going to be on the field and hitting each other. The coach then reportedly asked what was going to happen when 10 guys on the same team come down with COVID-19. As an aside, several college teams are dealing with that very question right now. The University of Houston had to shut down football practices after six players tested positive.
Werder said another coach raised similar concerns, though was more specific about who would get hit with the infection. The second coach reportedly asked what a team was supposed to do if all the quarterbacks on a roster were infected. The coach added he didn’t know what a team was supposed to do if their entire starting defense got sick. The coach also wondered what would happen if an entire coaching staff came down with the virus.
Werder said the third coach felt like the NFL was moving too fast and there were too many questions about the disease still floating around. That coach said the protests might be instructive in some regard. Werder said the coach told him the open-air aspect could show what the NFL can expect if fans were in the stands during games.
The third anonymous coach also raised the specter of the league’s players eventually pushing back against the NFL season starting on time. Werder said he pointed to what’s going on with Major League Baseball and the NBA. While the situations are slightly different, the coach seemed to think issues could arise that would make players want to take a step back and wait until things were more clear.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier this week he was unsure the league could stage a season after negotiations with the player’s union broke down. While the NBA is planning on continuing its season next month, some players, including Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, have voiced their desire to cancel the return due to civil unrest in the country and a perceived second wave of coronavirus infections on the horizon.