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Update: NFL season could be played with fans in attendance

Dec 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles fans cheer in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2020 NFL schedule set to be released here in the next several days, we’re starting to hear details leaked to the media.

The NFL is planning on releasing a full 17-game schedule with potential contingencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike other sports, the league is not planning on playing at neutral sites.

We now have some more information that might be shocking to the masses. According to Pro Football Talk, it is believed games will be open for fans to attend.

The NFL is not working at a disadvantage in comparison to other sports who saw their seasons abruptly suspended back in March. It has until September to figure this thing out.

Though, there’s a lot of factors that go into the season starting on time and fans actually being in attendance.

  • Like other sports leagues, the NFL has noted that it’s not going to utilize widespread COVID-19 testing if said tests are not readily available to the general public. As of right now, those tested for the virus represents an alarmingly small percentage of the American population.
  • Antibody tests will have to become available on a widespread basis. These tests indicate whether someone has been infected by the virus in the past, leading to potential immunization.
  • The good news here is that it’s expected testing on both fronts will be available on a more widespread basis to the general public once September comes calling. This will enable the NFL to test players, coaches and personnel before they enter a team facility for practice or actual stadiums on game days.

There’s a major hiccup to this plan. California and Pennsylvania have both made it clear that sporting events with fans in attendance won’t take place during the 2020 calendar year. That would obviously impact games in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Despite this, the leaks we are starting to hear when it comes to the 2020 NFL schedule seems to indicate business as usual. A lot of that will ultimately depend on the factors listed above.