As the United States of America continues to see a sharp increase in the number of novel coronavirus COVID-19 infections, and an outbreak starting in the National Football League itself, concerns for this year’s season are growing. And, as determined as the League seems to be in terms of sticking to its new schedule, multiple teams are starting to think twice about it.
With roughly a month to go before players are supposed to report for training camp, the NRL has seen a noteworthy increase in COVID-19 cases. At this point, nearly 1/3 of the 32 teams are reporting at least one positive test. It’s also being revealed how quickly it spreads, with several concerns reporting numerous cases. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have confirmed several cases, the Denver Broncos have at least two, and the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans each report numerous players having contracted COVID-19.
While there were already several voices in the NFL pushing for a delayed start to the regular season, the first Monday in September, the 1st, this is growing to a chorus. As recently as April, support was seen for a delay for the 2020 season, and with states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas reporting record-highs in terms of COVID-19 cases every day, the likelihood of an on-time start is receding daily. The league has accounted for this, however, and has the flexibility to move the first four weeks of the regular season into January next year.
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