The NFL has returned, but it’s not exactly going to plan

One of the NFL’s two new stadiums for 2020, Allegiant Stadium is the new home of Las Vegas Raiders.

Jaden Cheloha, Staff Writer

If someone told me in April of 2020 that the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLS, and the NHL would all play on the same day for the first time in history later that year, I would’ve called them crazy. Nevertheless, here we are in October, and all these sporting leagues have returned. Undoubtedly, the biggest one out of all them, the NFL, seems to be on a path for a safe, sustainable season, but in recent weeks, that safety has been tested.  


Before the Season 

We all knew the NFL would look a bit different than previous years, and as expected, a few things were changed before the season started. First, the preseason was cancelled. The reason given for this cancellation was to minimize the risk of travel and ensure that the regular season begins in a timely manner,” which makes perfect sense. The cancellation didn’t give the proper preparations for players, but as Commissioner Roger Goodell stated, “The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years.” Next, players were given the option to opt out of participating in the 2020 season. By the end of the deadline, 67 athletes decided not to play. Players considered high risk for COVID-19 were eligible for $350,000 if they chose to opt out. Players without such risk would earn $150,000 for opting out. Along with thatall players and coaching staff who decided to play would be tested regularly, and in the days leading up to the start of the season, every day. 


Once the Season Started 

To further protect players, coaches, and fans, the NFL had each team decide on the capacity of fans allowed into the stands for each game. Most of the teams banned fans from attending the games in person, but a few teams (that being the Dolphins, Browns, Colts, Jaguars, Chiefs, Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Panthers) allowed reduced number of fans into the stadium at the start of the season. A recent announcement also told fans that this season’s pro bowl had been cancelled. Players and coaches have continued to be tested regularly. 


How it’s Falling Apart 

While the NFL has put all these protective measurements in place, it doesn’t seem to be enough. So far, it seems the Tennessee Titans are on a mission to completely cancel the NFL season, with 23 players and staff testing positiveas well as the team violating orders from the NFL to not hold practices because of their high number of cases. With cases surging through the entire league, the NFL has had to reorganize the season schedule. A few examples include the week 4 matchup between the Steelers and the Titans moved back to week 7, the Chiefs-Bills game moved from Oct. 15 to Oct. 19, and the Broncos-Patriots game moved from week 5 to week 6. 


List of recently positive NFL players: 

  • Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots 
  • Bill Murray, DL, Patriots 
  • Cam Newton, QB, Patriots 
  • Byron Cowart, DT, Patriots 
  • A.J. Terrell, CB, Falcons
  • Jordan Ta’amu, QB, Chiefs 
  • Adam Humphries, WR, Titans 
  • Kristian Fulton, CB, Titans 
  • Jeffery Simmons, DE, Titans 
  • Cam Batson, WR, Titans 
  • Kamalei Correa, LB, Titans 
  • Tommy Hudson, TE, Titans 
  • Beau Brinkley, LS, Titans 
  • DaQuan Jones, DL, Titans 
  • Greg Mabin, DB, Titans 
  • Corey Davis, WR, Titans 
  • Isaiah Wilson, OL, Titans 
  • Maurice Hurst, DL, Raiders 
  • Marlon Davidson, DT, Falcons 
  • Anthony Sherman, FB, Chiefs
    The second of the NFL’s new temple to football, SoFi Stadium is home to both the LA Rams and Chargers.
    Rams WR Cooper Kupp stiff-arms an opponent.

    Texans QB Deshaun Watson avoids a tackle.