NFL considering using a bubble for the playoffs this season?

Vincent Frank
NFL Mock Draft 2020
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL decided months ago that it would allow teams to play games at their home stadiums this upcoming season despite the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the United States.

Said decision was met with criticism from those who believe it’s going to be hard to complete the season in this manner. What we’re seeing as it relates to the NBA’s bubble in Orlando compared to the issues pertaining to the Major League Baseball season only adds to this.

Could the NFL now be looking to change up the latter part of its schedule to take into account the pandemic?

NFL not ruling out playing the playoffs in a bubble

There’s certainly a lot to look at here. First off, how would this look with some teams planning to play regular-season games with fans in attendance and others already announcing empty stadiums?

That could be a competitive balance issue, especially taking into account some of the enormous home-field advantages throughout the NFL.

It makes sense for the league to rely on its teams and local leaders in deciding whether fans will be able to attend games. The situation as it relates to this pandemic varies drastically by region right now.

How would an NFL Playoffs bubble look like?

The NFL decided to expand its playoff format to 14 teams this coming season. That’s up from 12 in recent years. Technically, 14 teams taking to a bubble wouldn’t necessarily be an issue. The NBA decided to resume its season with 22 teams at Walt Disney World.

On the other hand, roster sizes are much larger in the NFL than the NBA. More than three times to be exact. Traveling parties would be bigger, too.

The league could decide to use two different bubbles with one city hosting the AFC Playoffs and the other city hosting the NFC Playoffs. At this point, that would make the most sense.

This news comes on the heels of Major League Baseball also considering playing its postseason in a bubble. Why the two leagues didn’t consider this for the regular season remains an open question.