The NFL sets more COVID-19 measures as the season approaches. While these primarily impact players and staff, it will affect the fans too. The league ruled that fans who attend games must wear a face mask.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy made it clear on Twitter Wednesday by posting a selfie wearing a mask.
For those wondering, yes, it is league-wide: fans at NFL games this season will be required to wear face coverings pic.twitter.com/D139KGKQ4r
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 22, 2020
Of course, this does not impact fans who can’t go to the game at all like in Philadelphia. However, if you’re one of those Jacksonville Jaguars fans who’s attending the games at 25 percent capacity, don’t forget your mask.
Protecting the Players
While fans must wear a mask, there will be an option for players. The NFL and NFLPA are in talks about the use of a face shield on players’ helmets. NFL Network reporter Mike Garafalo included sketches of the face shields in one of his tweets.
Update on the face shields the NFL developed with Oakley to prevent the spread of Covid: The expectation is they will be recommended but NOT required for players, a source informed of talks between the NFL and NFLPA says. The league had been pushing for them to be worn by all. pic.twitter.com/ikar8AmEF0
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 23, 2020
This face shield was developed by the NFL in a partnership with Oakley. The design focuses on blocking virus-carrying droplets while also allowing players to breathe.
Garafalo said in his tweet that face shields will be highly recommended, but not required. Texans superstar JJ Watt already stated he will not play if face shields were required. Clearly, there’s a reason to only recommend it.
First, Half a Preseason; Now, There’s None
Following training camp, the league will jump straight into the regular season. To limit exposure, there will be no preseason games this season. On one hand, people are mixed on the preseason. Many find it to be unnecessary. On the other hand, players need the live action to prepare for the season.
ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington said that while the players need a ramp-up period, and week one could be sloppy, there is still a health benefit.
No preseason also has an impact on deciding who makes the team. They will have to get creative with that. Training starts in a week. Let’s see how this goes.