What if we don’t have an 2020 NFL season, as some players are skeptical.
The longtime ESPN television personality tweeted out on Sunday afternoon what he’s hearing from players in the league. “In texts from several prominent NFL players today right now they’re putting the odds of the season at 50-60%. Many of them are saying less confident now than they were two weeks ago. Posturing? Maybe but they clearly feel their concerns aren’t being heard.”
While Wingo did put the word “posturing” in his tweet, as it absolutely unequivocally feels like that from the players, it’s abundantly clear there are major concerns some of the NFL’s top players have about the testing protocols the league didn’t get out ahead of. The NFL had the longest time to figure out their protocols and many of the players aren’t pleased with how things are going.
Are we in jeopardy of not having a 2020 NFL season this fall?
No, the NFL is going to play its upcoming campaign. There is too much money at stake for the season not to happen. While prominent players may opt out from playing, if that is negotiated by the NFLPA in this one-of-a-kind NFL season, the NFL knows it has television contracts with CBS, Disney, FOX and NBC to uphold. They will figure out how to play, one way or another.
What might be getting lost here is the NFL is sitting back and watching how the other leagues are implementing their testing protocols. The bubbles in Orlando with the MLS and the NBA seem to be working. While FC Dallas and Nashville SC were withdrawn in the MLS is Back Tournament, there haven’t been any positive tests from inside the bubble in weeks. It’s clearly working there.
We’ve seen college football conferences take on this loathsome burden of figuring out testing protocols, while Mark Emmert and the NCAA buries its collective head in the sand. While the Big Ten and the Pac-12 have opted for conference-only schedules, the ACC, Big 12 and SEC are leaving open the opportunity to play non-conferences, possibly in a plus-one format.
The big key here is universal testing protocol the league can and will have to implement league-wide. These are billion dollar franchises, so there is no excuse for even the cheapest owners to not be on the same page with the other 30 owners in the league. Players may be frustrated because they weren’t in the know. Clearly, the league needs to do a better job of explaining what’s up.
The 2020 season will go on, even if some of players aren’t thrilled with testing protocols.