The NFL has operated as close to business as usual as possible this offseason, still holding free agency and the draft as originally scheduled. But make no mistake, there's plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A report surfaced early Tuesday morning the Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross believes that NFL games will "definitely" happen in 2020, and the only question that remains is whether fans will be in the stands or not.
Ron Rivera was asked about Ross' comments on Tuesday's edition of NBC Sports' Lunch Talk Live with Mike Tirico, and the head coach explained that "it's way too early for anybody to really predict what's going to happen."
However, the Redskins head coach did express optimism that the league has a much more positive outlook than it did several weeks ago, and hopes that by the time the season rolls around, they'll be good to play the 2020 campaign as scheduled.
"But if things continue to trend in the right way and we continue to develop and learn more and more about the situation and circumstances, understand what's expected of us in terms of how we have to act and behave, I think we can hopefully get ourselves back into that position," Rivera said.
Just moments before Rivera's interview, Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson reported that head coaches could be allowed to return to their team facilities as early as next week and that there is a chance teams could hold minicamps in mid-to-late June (the NFL put out a statement in response saying they are "not putting dates" on a potential return).
Rivera, who's entering his first season with Washington, was asked how being able to hold just one offseason in-person session prior to training camp would benefit the Redskins.
"I think it would make a great difference," Rivera said. "Again, if we can see where we are and what we have, and we can also explain to the players what we are trying to do before we start training camp. That would be very beneficial to the new coaching staff."
In the meantime, Rivera emphasized that it would be wise for everyone to follow current regulations in order to continue to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.
"Hopefully within time, there will be enough testing," Rivera said. "Who knows when the vaccine will be found. But for the most part, we've got to continue to practice the social distancing, follow the rules from the CDC and do things the right way."
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