Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging caution for the 2020 NFL season following spikes in coronavirus cases in Texas, Florida, and Arizona.
When the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through the sports world, the Kansas City Chiefs had been Super Bowl champs for a mere month and a half. Now, after avoiding the bulk of effects from the global pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that the 2020 NFL season could be in jeopardy.
Dr. Fauci told @drsanjaygupta that "football may not happen this year."
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble, insulated from the community & they're tested nearly every day, it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall.”pic.twitter.com/GfiRBIwk5w
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) June 18, 2020
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN that the absence of a bubble format would effectively put those involved at risk, thus prematurely ending the season. Earlier this week, an outbreak at the Texans and Cowboys facilities occurred, showing what could happen if the NFL doesn’t implement protective procedures.
Adam Silver and the NBA are just over a month from returning to play after a four-month hiatus after locking down a “bubble” in Orlando. The next move for Roger Goodell and the NFL would be to follow suit and establish a bubble for the league to take place in. Without it, as Fauci warns, the NFL could be susceptible to the lurking second wave of coronavirus cases come flu season.
While the NFL continues to plan an uninterrupted beginning to the season, college football has just begun going through a difficult stage of the resumption. Following the NCAA’s decision to allow athletes to return to campus for practice, multiple safety issues have surfaced, including a mini-outbreak for the Texas Longhorns football team.
The logistics behind building a sports season amidst the coronavirus pandemic are wary, and Fauci certainly expresses little optimism that football can confidently start its fall season without a bubble location. Only time will tell.