As the NFL and NFL Players Association work out the various things that need to be worked out in advance of one of the strangest football seasons ever, there’s one option that merits consideration: Patience.
“The last thing that we want as players is for this report date to be set in stone and for us to be bumping up against this report date and then we hastily put things together just because we want to make sure that report date is met,” Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said during a Wednesday visit to the #PFTPM podcast. “I think the most important thing for us is getting everything right so that everybody feels as safe as possible, as comfortable as possible with what we’re gonna do. Whether that is on the report date, whether that’s pushed back, whatever it may be. But I just don’t want us to get into a situation where we bump up this report date and we say oh no now we gotta figure it out. That’s where you get into trouble.”
Training camps remain due to open on July 28. Any delays in the opening of camp could jeopardize Week One.
That said, the league could always take Week One and tack it onto the weekend after Week 17. The same thing could happen with Week Two, and so on, until the league is confident that the season can safely begin and can successfully be completed.
Put simply, season delayed is far better than season denied. If the NFL rushes to meet deadlines that aren’t inflexible, the league could be flirting with an outcome that is inflexible.