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Sean Payton won’t be surprised if some games are suspended

As more NFL players opt-out for the 2020 season, Mike Florio and Chris Simms wonder just how big the list will get in the league.

It’s a strange time in America, and among those who have a vested financial and/or rooting interest in the success of sport. Some insist that the articulation of any possibility of sport struggling to thrive during the worst pandemic in more than a century comes from a deep-seated desire to see the sport fail.

And so, under that stupid, cockeyed standard, Saints coach Sean Payton wants football to fail.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Payton said that he won’t be surprised if some 2020 games are suspended. He pointed to the possibility that a team will have all players at a given position group unable to play, due to testing positive for COVID-19.

A member of the Competition Committee, Payton didn’t address whether those games would be rescheduled or simply scrapped. It’s possible that some games simply won’t be played, and that some teams will have fewer than 16 games when the season ends. Playoff positioning, at that point, would hinge on winning percentage.

If games are to be suspended, a clear, fair, consistent standard will be needed, so that all teams are treated the same way. Although a certain amount of competitive imbalance will have to be tolerated, the idea that some teams will get a pass and others won’t under relatively similar circumstances should not be permitted to take root in this craziest of NFL seasons.

Likewise, the timing and platform of the game should not be a factor, with games in the 1:00 p.m. ET window more likely to be suspended and a higher bar applied to prime-time, stand-alone contests.