Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Wednesday 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.”
A number of players have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, including Denver Broncos’ safety Kareem Jackson and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, raising concerns about the spread of the virus once the regular season begins.
Sources told ESPN this week that news of the new cases has several head coaches wanting to delay the season while another questioned playing during a pandemic at all.
Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed those concerns, telling ESPN that “positive tests are going to happen.”
“The issue is, can we obviously prevent as many of those from happening, but in addition, treat them quickly, isolate them and prevent them from directly impacting our player personnel.”