Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that football may not happen at all this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNN reported. His warning follows the announcement that several Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans players have already tested positive for the coronavirus.
The NFL is the only major professional sports body in the U.S. to have not had its season affected in one way or the other by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its end-of-year championship event, the Super Bowl, had just concluded a few weeks prior to the full gravity and severity of the pandemic forcing the postponement or cancellation of other sports leagues. Its next season isn't due to begin for several months.
By all indications, the NFL is proceeding as if it's business as usual. Excluding the rescheduling of a couple of games that were to be played overseas, the league has made no major changes to its schedule. Training camps are scheduled to begin later this summer; the Hall of Fame Game is scheduled for August 6; and the regular season is scheduled to begin on September 10.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, isn't convinced that the NFL will be able to go ahead with its planned season as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
"Unless players are essentially in a bubble -- insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day -- it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall," he said.
Further, he noted that the NFL season would be in full swing in the late fall, a time when the normal, seasonal flu starts rearing its head. As of this writing, the medical community is not sure if the COVID-19 pandemic will have seasonal fluctuations, like the regular flu. But Fauci is convinced the disease may prove seasonal and, thus, become an issue in the NFL.
"If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year," he said.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, several players on the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans have tested positive for the coronavirus, among them Ezekiel Elliott.
As of this writing, it's unclear just how many players contracted the virus, or where they contracted it. Elliott's agent confirmed that his client is not actively sick with the illness caused by the virus, while the health status of the other infected players remains unclear, as of this writing.