Posted on 2020-04-17
BOSTON (CBS) — For the entirety of America’s coronavirus crisis, the NFL has carried on with business as usual, seemingly refusing to acknowledge the very real problems facing the country. That’s involved holding free agency as planned in mid-March and keeping the draft scheduled for late April, despite all of the challenges and hurdles for all involved parties. The league has publicly stated it plans on holding the season in full, with full stadiums, when that time comes in September.
Yet behind closed doors, the NFL is making contingency plans, according to a Washington Post report by Mark Maske and Dave Sheinin.
“The NFL has been contemplating contingencies that include a potentially shortened schedule, holding games in empty or partially filled stadiums, and moving or rescheduling games if necessary,” the report said, citing three sources.
As one source told the Post, it’s difficult to come with any plans, considering the uncertain nature of the world and the country. Yet with President Donald Trump working closely with pro sports commissioners — as well as Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — the league feels as though the government will be pushing for a return of sports.
“I don’t know if it’ll be a one-third-filled stadium, a half-filled stadium or whatever,” the source told the Post. “The NFL is planning for everything from playing without fans to playing in full stadiums. We know there will be a push from the [federal] government to open things up.”
The report indicated that the contingency plans have not progressed to any decision-making levels yet. But the realities of the world and the country could force the league to consider “moving games or adjusting the schedule if games cannot be played in certain cities at certain points during the season.”
When the NFL schedule is released in early May, it will be a schedule that’s adaptable to a delayed start, according to the report.