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NFL will need shocking number of COVID-19 test kits to play full season

Matt Johnson
Denver Broncos pick up Von Miller's team option for 2021
Sep 16, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) celebrates the win over the Oakland Raiders at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sports to a halt, but the NFL is doing everything it can to ensure football is played in 2020. Amid ongoing discussions for contingency plans, ranging from playing games without fans in attendance to a potential quarantined season, the league is also focused on testing players for COVID-19.

For that to happen, though, the NFL could need a shocking amount of tests that aren’t even doable at this stage of the health crisis.

NFL needs hundreds of thousands of test kits

As detailed by NBC Sports’ Peter King, the league will find itself in a very difficult position. The United States is still experiencing difficulties with COVID-19 testing, with many Americans unable to be tested or it takes days to get tested then receive the results.

At the end of April, the United States testing capacity stood at nearly 200,000 people per day. The country is far short of its goal for tests per day.

It is problematic for the NFL, given the league might need 200,000 testing kits during the 2020 season. Between full 53-man rosters for all 32 teams, in addition to the coaching staff and other team personnel, the NFL needs hundreds of thousands of testing kits to ensure player safety each week.

While there will be far more tests by the summer and early into the fall, when NFL teams would likely start practicing together and playing games, the league would need to be sure it isn’t taking away tests the general public needs.

The NFL is confident there will be a season in 2020, even if it means adjusting the schedule. However, there is a very real chance the upcoming season could be delayed. If there aren’t enough testing kits for NFL personnel, if training camp is pushed back or if there is a second wave of COVID-19, the NFL will need to make changes.