NFL chief medical officer says protocols will change and evolve during the season

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The NFL is putting together protocols for playing the 2020 season in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but those protocols will change as the season goes on.

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, says the league has to be flexible as it learns more about how to fight the spread of infection among NFL players, coaches and other staffers.

“I absolutely expect that our protocols will change and will evolve as we go through the regular season based upon some of this new knowledge,” Sills told the Associated Press. “That’s the nature of medical practice: that we’re always looking to improve based upon emerging knowledge and emerging data and those things will change. And so I don’t think none of us should be surprised by that and that’s part of our commitment on the health and safety side is to try to stay abreast of what’s happening in the medical fields and in the other sports leagues and continue to improve those protocols for the safety of everyone.”

No one really knows whether it’s possible to play a football season during a pandemic, and no one really knows what the best practices are. The NFL will be figuring this out as it goes along, and hoping it goes well enough not to have to shut everything down.