Why experts say the NFL’s COVID response puts the season at risk

Health experts aren't recommending the NFL shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the league should instill other protections to keep the season in place.



December 8, 2020 - 10:49 AM

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, left, wears a mask on the sideline before a game against the Tennessee Titans Nov. 22. Photo by Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun / TNS

As other professional sports leagues planned to tiptoe ahead with quarantined lockdowns, the NFL went boldly and cleverly ahead with a virtual draft so innovative and well received that even strident critics reluctantly applauded it.

The basement of commissioner Roger Goodell’s New York home served as the nerve center for the April event, projecting a sense of calm and confidence as if the world briefly had tilted back onto its axis.

Goodell’s increasingly casual attire over the three days reflected that — from sports coat to sweater to quarter-zip to T-shirt — until he finally plopped into his favorite leather recliner and ate fistfuls of M&Ms. Everything was going to be OK.

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