NFL rumors: League not considering pausing season due to COVID-19 outbreak

NFL logo at midfield during Jets football game
Nov 24, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; General overall view of the NFL shield logo at midfield at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 34-3. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first few weeks of the 2020 NFL season went swimmingly as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic still plaguing the United States. It was somewhat of a shock given that Major League Baseball had some major issues in its attempt to play a season outside of the bubble atmospheres we saw with the NBA and NHL.

That has now taken a back seat to growing concerns about the 2020 NFL season after a major outbreak of COVID-19 within the Tennessee Titans’ organization. Despite this, the NFL is not considering pausing its season or moving to bubble cities.

Related: NFL Week 5 schedule, predictions

NFL not considering pausing 2020 season or moving to bubble cities

“The NFL is not giving serious consideration to pausing the season or going to home market bubbles with mandatory hotel stays for players, coaches and team staffers when they leave team facilities each day, according to a person with knowledge of the league’s thinking,” Mark Maske and Cindy Boren of the Washington Post reported recently. “The NFL remains firmly convinced that its protocols work when they’re followed.”

It was previously noted that the NFL was considering moving to bubbles as the season continues. That would likely have paused the season for a week or two due to logistical issues. This apparently is no longer an option.

Titans COVID-19 outbreak threatens 2020 NFL season

  • There’s now growing skepticism that the Titans’ Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills will be played as scheduled on Sunday. North of 20 members of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The NFL is currently investigating whether Titans players broke the league-mandated protocols by working out when their facility remains closed. Potential discipline could include the Titans having to forfeit games. Remember, their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was rescheduled for later in October. This report seems to suggest that the NFL believes the Titans did in fact break protocols.

2020 NFL season and COVID-19

There’s certainly a lot to look at here. Further outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus around the NFL could very well put a halt to the 2020 season. Another option being considered is playing a Week 18 immediately ahead of the wild card round. That would enable the NFL to make up any games postponed due to an outbreak of the virus.

Regardless, there’s a lot of moving parts here. The NFL might think its COVID-19 protocols are working. However, multiple teams have now seen outbreaks. As we’ve seen since this pandemic hit American shores last winter, everything is touch and go.