What the Eagles' first COVID-19 era game will look like


The NFL has managed to reach Week 1 largely without a hitch amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a huge - and sort of surprising - accomplishment.

A large part of that success is thanks to the league making big changes, ones that will make football games look fairly different this season.

Here's what you can expect from Sunday's broadcasts:

Masks - lots of masks

The ubiquitous face masks you wear during trips to grocery stores and pharmacies these days will be all over the screen. If fans are in the stands, as they were on Thursday night in Kansas City, they'll be asked to keep facemasks on during the games. The Chiefs, in fact, gave masks to all fans who showed up at the game: 

And down on the field it'll be more of the same. Everyone on a team's bench during games, except players and coaches - include team employees, athletic trainers, and equipment managers - will be required to wear a mask. Coaches, as we saw with Andy Reid, can still opt to wear masks:

Facemasks: they're not just penalties anymore.

Fake crowd noise

It's been a mixed bag across other pro sports in terms of using fake crowd noise or keeping only ambient noises.

The NFL, according to ESPN, hired audio operators in each team's market to work a soundboard while watching the game. The operators will be located in the stadium during the game.


"The feed will be mixed into the broadcast, the league hopes, in a way that replicates what viewers normally hear from the home crowd in that particular stadium. There are no conventional booing options in the provided audio, but the operator will have available 'a palette of negative reactions,' Bose said, that are akin to a 'smattering of boos.'"


The Eagles won't have fans at their home opener in Week 2 against the Rams, but you can bet there will be recordings of "Fly Eagles Fly" playing in the Linc.