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Report: NFL does not have COVID-19 testing system in place

COVID-19 pandemic
Cedric Belcher wears a mask with his favorite NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn. Nas Covid Masks 005 (George Walker IV / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

Earlier on Thursday, the NFL notified its 32 teams that training camps will go on as scheduled starting late next month. This comes after the league cancelled August’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the companion game between the Cowboys and Steelers in Ohio.

With COVID-19 cases increasing in certain major hot spots around the United States, it’s an open question whether camps will start on time. That’s now magnified a bit further.

NFL does not have COVID-19 testing system in place

This report from ESPN’s Josina Anderson is troubling. The only way to even consider starting the 2020 NFL season on time is to have widespread testing available to the masses. Without a system in place, any idea given to the season starting has to be thrown out the window.

As we saw with the number of Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys players testing positive for COVID-19, the virus is not limited to the general public. It will impact those on the field, coaches, front office personnel and family members. That’s not even in question right now. Testing must be prevalent before camps can even be considered a possibility.

Will the NFL schedule include fans in attendance?

This is yet another big story. And it’s all related. Recently, reports have surfaced that the league is expecting to have a minimal amount of fans in attendance. The front rows at venues will be cleared off to keep players safe from the general public.

The issue here is the increasing number of virus cases in the United States as well as hot spots in California, Texas and Florida — the three most populous states in the union. Without widespread testing of players, the virus will be like a wildfire spreading throughout the NFL.