Washington Football

Washington Football

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases claimed on Thursday the NFL's need for a bubble format to safely and successfully complete the 2020 season this fall. 

Many experts believe a second wave of coronavirus cases is coming after summer is over, so a format similar to the NBA's Disney World bubble would probably be the best way to keep players and staff healthy all while executing a regular season and playoffs. 

Later the same day, the NFL issued a response to the medical expert's statement. 


"Dr. Fauci has identified the important health and safety issues we and the NFL Players Association, together with our joint medical advisors, are addressing to mitigate the health risk to players, coaches and other essential personnel," the league wrote. "We are developing a comprehensive and rapid-result testing program and rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everyone inside our football ecosystem. This is based on the collective guidance of public health officials, including the White House task force, the CDC, infectious disease experts and other sports leagues."

"Make no mistake, this is no easy task," the statement said. "We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel and attendees. We will be flexible and adaptable in this environment to adjust to the virus as needed."



The statement didn't say whether they planned on the bubble or not, but it was more of a message that the league is considering a multitude of options to ensure the 2020 campaign is played as originally scheduled. The league has maintained the stance of playing on time all along. 

The NFLPA also released a statement in response to Fauci's comment, with NFLPA Medical Director Dr. Thom Mayer sharing a similar stance to what the league stated earlier. 

"Dr. Anthony Fauci's words carry important weight as he has served our country with expert guidance and moral clarity through many crises," the statement said.

"As we have communicated to our players throughout the spring, we know that there are significant challenges to the operation of football during a global pandemic. So far, we have been guided and made decisions based on the best available science and current state of infections and hospitalizations. Our joint task force in comprised of experts in multiple areas who are working everyday with health and safety in mind."

Mayer also noted that the NFLPA will continue to use tests as a way to ensure players are safe, but they will be mindful of how they are using the resources. 

"In addition to stringent protocols and workplace safety, we continue to reinforce the importance of widely available testing. It is not just a key to restarting football, but also a matter of public health. While the information we currently have indicates it will not be an issue in the near future, we all agree that ethically, we cannot as a non-essential business, take resources away from our fellow Americans."

There's still a lot of time between now and September and there's no telling how the virus will dictate pro sports moving forward. In the meantime, it appears the NFL is keeping its options open.

Listen to the full episode of Sports Uncovered's Sean Taylor: The NFL Superstar We Didn't Get to Know, click here.

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