Bob Costas: NFL contingency plan includes starting regular season in November

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The NFL has been minimally affected by the coronavirus pandemic and so far has only been forced to move its annual draft to a virtual format and suspend workouts at team facilities, but as the season creeps closer, the league might need a contingency plan if the outbreak has not subsided come the summertime.

Legendary sportscaster Bob Costas told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” on Friday that the NFL does have at least one contingency plan should things start to look hairy. Costas said a “very well-connected source” told him one of the plans include starting the season in November.

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“One plan is for the NFL to start in November and the Super Bowl takes place in March, which would make sense. You could certainly pull that off. People would, in terms of scheduling and people’s interests, it would be fine,” he said.

Costas added that the league might have to look into hosting games at a regional domed stadium because of the freezing temperatures in outdoor venues like Chicago and Green Bay.

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“… And I guess they would have to take into account some neutral site. It’s one thing to play playoff games in arctic conditions in Green Bay or Chicago in January,” Costas said. “It’s another thing to play regular-season games under those conditions. Perhaps they would have to have regional site where there are domes like Indianapolis or Minnesota or wherever the case may be.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made clear that he plans to start the season on time. He told ESPN the league “will be ready to play.” According to The Washington Post, the league has talked about the possibility of shortening the season and playing games without fans.

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Nothing has been set in stone in regards to the 2020 season.

Goodell said on “The Rich Eisen Show” he plans to release the 2020 schedule on May 9.