Opinion: Amid coronavirus uncertainty, NFL resolute in staying the course for 2020 season — for now

In spite of the uncertainty that continues to swirl as the coronavirus pandemic’s impact grows, NFL officials are determined to proceed as if normalcy will return by late this summer.

After a pair of conference calls with all 32 team presidents on Monday and each franchise’s ownership groups on Tuesday, league officials revealed that plans for the start of the 2020 season remain unaltered. 

That means no delay to training camp or the preseason, opening week of the regular season, and no modification to teams’ 16-game regular season for either domestic or international matchups.

In recent weeks, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered all teams to close their facilities and utilize video conferencing for free agent meetings and pre-draft visits. Teams also are proceeding as though traditional offseason conditioning programs and practices, which usually span a nine-week stretch from early April to mid-June, will not take place. Meanwhile, league and NFL Players Association officials are currently trying to settle on parameters for “virtual offseason programs,” which would feature video conferencing to replace the on-field learning opportunities that will be lost this spring.

But when it comes to the start of the regular season, it’s business as usual. For now. 

“All of our discussions, all of our focus has been on a normal, traditional season starting on time, played in front of our fans, in our regular stadiums, and going through a full 16-game regular season and a full set of playoffs. That’s our focus,” NFL executive vice president and general counsel Jeffrey Pash said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

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