Multiple NFL teams want start of 2020 season pushed back

With COVID-19 cases spiking throughout the United States, and an outbreak beginning among NFL teams, concerns for the 2020 season are growing. While the league is determined to stick to its schedule, multiple NFL teams are starting to push for a delay.

Just a month before players are scheduled to report for training camp, the NFL is experiencing a significant increase in cases of the coronavirus. As of Sunday, nearly a third of NFL teams reported at least one positive COVID-19 test.

Alarmingly, we are also seeing how quickly the coronavirus can spread with several organizations reporting multiple cases. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are confirmed to have multiple cases and the Denver Broncos had at least two players test positive for COVID-19. In Texas, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans each had multiple players contract the coronavirus.

There were already some within the NFL supporting a delayed start to the regular season. Now, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the voices for pushing back the season are growing even louder.

“That’s the first place you have to start,” one team executive said, via Sports Illustrated. “I’m big on pushing back.”

As Breer pointed out, the NFL could opt to delay the start of the season until October and move the Super Bowl to later in February. That would buy the league more time to see how other professional sports leagues fare in their restart plans — the NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer all are expected to resume their seasons in July and August — and if college football programs can successful begin their seasons in September and August.

Even in April, there was support from Americans to delay the 2020 NFL season. Now with states like Florida, Texas and Arizona reporting record-high COVID-19 cases every day, it seems less likely that the NFL season will start on time.

The NFL has accounted for a potential delay in its 2020 schedule, providing itself the flexibility to move the first four weeks of the regular season into January. In that scenario, the 2020 NFL season would start on Oct. 8.

Sources: NBC Sports, Yardbarker, Sports Illustrated

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