“You can keep players from the fans, but you can’t keep players from the players,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That could be our Achilles’ heel. Without some form of bubble, we may be asking for trouble.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said that he does not believe the NFL season will happen unless the league takes a similar approach to the NBA’s plan to keep players in a “bubble.”
Fauci expressed his concerns to CNN, warning that the NFL will need to modify how the season is played.
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble – insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day – it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci said. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”
The NFL held its offseason programs in a virtual setting amid the coronavirus, but teams are expected to report to training camp at the end of July.
The NBA has announced its plans for a quarantine “bubble” at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla., with players expected to resume the 2019-20 season in a locked-down hotel and venue without fans in attendance. Five NBA players have publicly opted out of the restart, but to this point, no NFL players have said they won’t be taking part in the 2020 regular season.