It really is amazing how well the NFL, its teams and the players have handled the COVID-19 pandemic in the several weeks leading up to Week 1.
When the league announced this past summer that it still planned on teams playing in their home venues, there were obvious concern that an outbreak of the virus could stop the season in its tracks. That was magnified after multiple COVID-19 outbreaks within the Major League Baseball world.
This is not the case in the NFL. Results from Saturday’s COVID-19 tests were released before Week 1 got started on Sunday. And they are amazing.
Zero positive COVID-19 tests around NFL in latest round
Maybe obvious but still incredible: After testing yesterday, all 3,600 players and team personnel, and another 1,400 gameday assistants, all have been cleared for today’s games, per source.
A rather remarkable feat for the league and its players.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2020
That’s 5,000 different individuals who were tested for the virus. Zero coming back positive represents a stunning result for the NFL.
One has to wonder if this will remain true moving forward. Teams traveled throughout the United States on Saturday in preparation for Week 1. There’s strict protocols for the traveling parties within each team. It will be interesting to see if said protocols snuffs out a potential outbreak before it happens.
A number of teams have decided to host a minimal number of fans to start the season. Other teams are taking a wait-and-see approach.
These numbers could potentially lead to more teams having fans in attendance as the season progresses. That will be all about the protocols put in place and how the pandemic looks in certain regions.
For now, enjoy NFL Week 1. It’s been a long time coming.