Goodell concedes ‘potential competitive inequities’ in 2020

The NFL season always is going to be at risk in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while league commissioner Roger Goodell wouldn’t admit that some teams will have an advantage with fans in the stands, he did discuss the potential for unfairness in other areas. 

Goodell spoke with Peter King of NBC Sports and said the league is prepared for a scenario in which every team does not complete its 16-game schedule because of the coronavirus. 

“We’re prepared if we have to do that. We’ve obviously gone through work on that basis with teams,” Goodell told King. “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.”

The NFL presumably is in less danger of games being postponed than Major League Baseball because of its once-a-week schedule, but they still run the risk of an outbreak pushing games back or having them canceled.

Teams have done well to prevent coronavirus outbreaks up to this point, and players are being incentivized to avoid high-risk activities for the duration of the season.

The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals of MLB both had to go more than a week without playing games due to COVID-19 outbreaks earlier in the season, and now their schedules are more difficult with a higher number of games in a small amount of days.

At the very least, NFL practices could be effected by the coronavirus, which could hurt a club’s preparation for their upcoming game. With the situation being fluid, the NFL certainly will adapt to the situation as the season rolls on.

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