As July comes to a close, excitement would usually abound in NFL circles.
Training camps would be kicking off, fans would be flocking to team practices and 32 teams would begin the season in earnest dreaming of finishing the season winning Super Bowl LV.
Then 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic happened.
Instead of optimism and joy, uncertainty and nervousness are in abundance as teams gather for the start of training camp. With 30 players now having opted out of the season, the NFL still seems content to go ahead with the season but it’s looking increasingly questionable if they can do so in a safe manner.
There will of course be rigorous testing protocols and cleaning procedures for team facilities and physical distancing is being mandated at all times inside the building. Coaches have also had to rethink how they teach without the traditional hands-on approach.
The pandemic has taken an immense mental toll on everyone, from players to coaches to fans. The players want to play and fans want the distraction for at least one day a week on Sunday but should an outbreak occur, how that team and the league responds will go a long way to determine how much (if any football) we see this season.
In today’s curds we look at how football can be played in the middle of a pandemic and why the league decide against a bubble like hockey and basketball.
What Packers can expect trying to play football during a pandemic—PackersNews.com (subscription required)
Everyone will be holding their breath as players start training camp. No player’s (or their family’s ) life is worth shoving a season down our throats but if the league can pull this off despite questionable odds then the distraction of football is welcome.
No bubble for the 2020 NFL season? Why the league decided against it, what’s next—ESPN
NFL rosters are the largest in sports so trying to contain all 32 teams in individual bubbles would have been a logistical nightmare, but should an outbreak occur the league might have to resort to drastic measures to save the season.
Countdown to Camp: Za’Darius and Preston Smith have brought new life to Packers’ defense—Packers.com
Meanwhile in actual football news, Packers fans fell in love with the Smith Brothers last year and there’s little reason to think anything will change in 2020.
26 Packers on the roster bubble and in need of a terrific training camp—Packers Wire
Without a preseason this year, roster cuts are going to be even more difficult without game film to evaluate from. The Packers have plenty of players on the bubble and will need to light it up in practice to have hope of making the Week 1 roster.
Police chase loose steer through Alberta city for 90 minutes—UPI
Chasing a steer through a city called Red Deer. Those offices clearly had no fear and afterwords I hope they had a beer.