Veteran players from NFL teams are set to report to training camp on Tuesday for a first round of COVID-19 testing and that step is a reminder of what the league is dealing with as it tries to play a full season in 2020.
The pandemic has already forced teams to call off in-person offseason programs and no preseason games will be played this summer, which are developments that won’t help players trying to make enough of an impression to stick on rosters into the regular season. Those players won’t be the only ones impacted, however.
Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty noted on the podcast he hosts with his brother that “it’s going to be an acclimation period for all of us” after such a long stretch without football and that will probably make for sloppy play once teams do begin facing each other.
“For the fandom, it’ll be good to see teams figure out timing and matchups on the fly. It should make it into a more raw football product, and better defensive game,” McCourty said, via the Boston Herald. “More raw, is roughly a way to put it, but it’s probably not going to be as good of a product early on.”
September football may not be aesthetically pleasing, but there may not be too many complaints given the uncertainty that has surrounded and still surrounds the league’s ability to play as scheduled this year.