The NFL is prepared to play fewer than 16 games if needed because of the coronavirus, Commissioner Roger Goodell said, with Week 1 of the season just days away.
In NBC Sports’ “Football Morning in America” column published Monday, Goodell said that “medical decisions” will drive whether changes to the schedule have to be made.
“We're prepared if we have to do that. We've obviously gone through work on that basis with teams,” Goodell wrote. “There will be potential competitive inequities that will be required this season because of the virus and because of the circumstances that we wouldn't do in other years. That's going to be a reality of 2020. If we feel like we have an outbreak, that's going to be driven by medical decisions—not competitive decisions.”
Goodell added that he was confident the season would be played.
“I am. But I will tell you this: We’re never going to get comfortable. If confident means we’re comfortable, then that’s not where we are ... We all have to do our part here to be successful in completing our season. I think we have a plan that will get us there,” he said in the column.
The NFL has chosen to go without a bubble scenario like the NBA and NHL have done, rather following MLB’s approach. Baseball has been forced to postpone games and create multiple doubleheaders after many games were postponed.
The NFL has plenty of safety protocols initiated to help prevent an outbreak.