Roger Goodell on if 2021 season will return to normal: I wish I could answer that

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Super Bowl LV will be the final game of a 2020 season played amid the COVID-19 pandemic and everyone is looking forward to a day when the precautions and restrictions put in place over the last year are no longer necessary.

At NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference on Thursday, he was asked if he anticipates the 2021 NFL season unfolding in a more normal fashion than the current one.

“I wish I knew the answer to that,” Goodell said. “One of the things that I have learned and all of us have learned is not to project too much in advance. . . . I don’t know when normal will occur again. I know this, we’ve learned to operate in a difficult environment and we’ll do it again.”

Among the changes to the 2020 season was the elimination of in-person offseason programs and preseason games. NFLPA president JC Tretter said at the end of the regular season that there is “no reason for us to ever return to the previous offseason program” and Goodell agreed that veterans may not get the same benefits from the previous program as older ones.

Goodell also said he believes “virtual is going to be a part of our lives” regardless of decisions about the kinds of in-person work that will go on in 2021 and into the future.

He was also asked a couple of questions about vaccines and whether unvaccinated players and/or fans would be allowed at NFL events. Goodell said again that it was too soon to have any firm answers to those questions, but did add that he’s hopeful that the vaccines will be part of the solution to a return to more normalcy in the NFL.

15 responses to “Roger Goodell on if 2021 season will return to normal: I wish I could answer that

  1. If they prevent fans or players from stadiums who haven’t been vaccinated it will result in major lawsuits. The efficacy of the vaccine is questionable and we’re already being told masks and social distancing will still be required even with a vaccine.

  2. You want things to get back to normal? Wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as you have the chance.

    That will get us there.

  3. This pandemic has shown what a true leader Goodell is. Not a single critic can complain that Goodell hasn’t guided the NFL through 2020 with the proper amount of caution.

    And this after he cut his pay to $1 way back in April. Sadly, an important fact that many critics here even failed to even acknowledge.

  4. The 2021 offseason programs which start in April, will for sure not be back to normal.

    Hopefully by September we will have a little more normalcy, but I doubt we really ever go back to business as usual. Some safety protocols will always have to be in place.

  5. Roger Goodall also announced the Vince Lombardi trophy will be renamed the Tom Brady trophy after this weekend.

  6. 33yy says:
    February 4, 2021 at 2:48 pm
    You want things to get back to normal? Wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as you have the chance.

    That will get us there.

    Of course. Just like two weeks to stop the spread.

  7. I know that reporters need to find stories, but this is a ridiculous question that obviously Goodell has no answer to.

    We don’t know how long it will take to get everyone vaccinated, and they’re saying that COVID isn’t going away and will continue to mutate because plenty will refuse to get vaccinated.

    Maybe things will get back to normal in time for the next pandemic. Fingers crossed.

  8. The head coach at Ohio State just said they’re going to have a normal season. How can he know that and Goodell doesn’t?

  9. I’ll admit, we all rag on Roger,and for good reason. But I’ll give credit where it’s due: the league has done a better job navigating this mess than anyone gives them credit for. For once Roger: good job.

  10. The end justifies the mean I guess, we made it to this game. I don’t think they did all they could to make it though, they are pretty fortunate. I would’ve thought they would have made a bubble for the playoffs or at the least restricted the after game love fest between players that can’t help muting the spread. Roger is a figurehead for the league’s ownership, he’s a mouth breather for all of us to focus on while other things are happening in the league.

  11. We don’t know how long it will take to get everyone vaccinated, and they’re saying that COVID isn’t going away and will continue to mutate because plenty will refuse to get vaccinated.

    The virus mutates regardless of vaccination numbers.

  12. And to add to it: compare how the football season rolled out to the disaster that was the NBA and MLB. The NBA did have to deal with it midseason, which I’m sure had a hand in how they went about it, but the NFL definitely laid a blueprint as to how to go about this sort of situation.

  13. We all need to shut down for two weeks to “flatten the curve.” Remember that? Then it turned into months. Now it’s talk of yearly vaccinations and double masks forever. Welcome to the new normal. The NFL will never return to what it was. Do you seriously think they will ever have fans in the stands like before, sitting inches away from each other? No way.

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