Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Wednesday he does not believe the NFL season will happen unless the league takes a similar approach to the NBA’s plan to keep players in a “bubble.”
Fauci expressed his concerns to CNN, warning that the NFL will need to modify how the season is played.
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“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,” Fauci said. “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.”
A number of players have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, including Denver Broncos’ safety Kareem Jackson and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, raising concerns about the spread of the virus once the regular season begins.
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Sources told ESPN this week that news of the new cases has several head coaches wanting to delay the season while another questioned playing during a pandemic at all.
Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed those concerns, telling ESPN that “positive tests are going to happen.”
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“The issue is, can we obviously prevent as many of those from happening, but in addition, treat them quickly, isolate them and prevent them from directly impacting our player personnel.”