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Report: NFL looking into plans for quarantined 2020 season

Matt Johnson
NFL, season
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL Draft will start on Thursday and provide a wonderful escape for fans and teams during the COVID-19 pandemic. As everyone talks about the NFL Draft, the NFL is reportedly already making unique plans to preserve a 2020 season.

According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the NFL is in talks with Delta Airlines to discuss a plan where each team would have two jets dedicated for their own personal use during the upcoming season. Furthermore, league officials are talking to Marriott Hotels about securing the use of hotels throughout NFL cities that would be dedicated to teams.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of professional sports to come to a complete stop, but the NFL has avoided any major setbacks because its the offseason. However, the league already shut down team facilities and teams are doing virtual offseason workouts to begin their preparation for the summer.

Many around the NFL expected organized team activities to be canceled and training camp in July would be the next pivotal point on the schedule for teams to prepare for the upcoming season.

Amid increasing doubt that the NFL season will start on time, league officials already seem open to the idea of playing games without fans in attendance.

Ongoing conversations with Delta Airlines and Marriott Hotels would indicate another dramatic step the league might be planning for. The NFL seems to be making preparations for putting entire teams in quarantine and securing safe travel for all personnel.

The talks seemingly resemble MLB’s ongoing plan to bring baseball back with players isolated in their hotels and only allowed to travel for games. In MLB’s case, the plan would mean leaving their families for months and the game’s biggest star is pushing back on that.

It makes sense for the NFL to prepare different contingency plans for the upcoming season. While isolating players comes with significant drawbacks and risks, including the costs for daily testing and taking them away from their families, it might be one of the few ways for a season to happen on time.