The NFL Players Association announced 72 players have tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 10. This comes as the NFL and NFLPA continue to negotiate rules for training camp, which is scheduled to take place for all NFL teams by the end of this month. Both sides are also looking to finalize rules for the regular season, which will start in September.
As mentioned by ESPN, the 72 number is hard to measure, considering not every player in the league has been tested. In fact, a vast amount of players haven't been tested yet due to players not reporting to their facilities again due to the pandemic. However, if every team had a full 90-man roster right now, there would be 2,880 players in the league, meaning the 72 represent 2.5 percent of the NFL's player population.
There has been a surge of COVID-19 cases across the country, but the NFL is still planning on starting the season on time. It has been reported the preseason will be cut in half due to the pandemic as players want to limit as much travel as possible. The league has already canceled the Hall of Fame game and Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which was supposes to take place the second weekend in August. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently talked about the NFL 2020 season and is unsure if it will happen.
"I think top of mind is are we gonna have a season?" Rodgers said while taking part in the American Century Championship. "I think there's a lot of things yet to be figured out. Rodgers also said he's "hopeful" the season can be played with fans and hopes the league will have the" testing procedures down" to make sure that the players, coaches and staff members are safe. "But I think we're kind of waiting for the league and the [NFL Players Association] to figure some things out."
With Major League Soccer starting back up this week and the MLB as well as the NBA set the get things started at the end of the month, it's very likely the 2020 NFL season will be played. However, having everyone as healthy as possible is key, so it will be interesting to see how the NFL avoids an outbreak.