Patriots

Patriots

Robert Kraft considers the NFL glass half full.

The New England Patriots owner said Tuesday night on FOX News his team is operating under the assumption that the 2020 NFL season will start on time despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're preparing to hopefully play football this fall,” Kraft told host Sean Hannity. "We’re working hand-in-hand with our union. We believe we’re developing protocols that allow us to do it in a safe way looking out first for our players and our personnel and then, of course, the fans.

"I believe we can do it."

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While several NFL teams re-opened their facilities last week, Gillette Stadium remains closed, as the Patriots still are holding meetings and workouts virtually.

New England would have already held organized team activities earlier this month and would hold minicamp in June under normal circumstances, but the team has been forced to adapt.

Still, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is planning for the 2020 NFL season to start on time; the league released its full schedule last month, with the Patriots' first preseason game set for Aug. 13 and 2020 season opener set for Sept. 13.

So, while there still are several unknowns -- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recently that "the virus will decide" whether there's a 2020 season -- Kraft and the league's power brokers are taking a "green light" approach until they hear otherwise.

 

The players, meanwhile, are being a bit more cautious: NFL Players Association president and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman J.C. Tretter tweeted Tuesday that the players have not yet agreed to a plan to play in 2020.