Report: 'Extremely Small' Chance NFL Will Cancel 2020 Season Because of COVID-19

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2020

Fire effects go off as Seattle Seahawks players run out of the tunnel at the start of their home opener NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

The NFL is forging ahead with plans for the 2020 season believing it will avoid any delays in the schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, there is only an "extremely small" chance the league is unable to play the upcoming season.

The biggest hurdle to a return to play remains "adequate and efficient testing, both for football personnel and the general public." Florio noted the league feels confident that will happen by August when training camps open.

The league currently expects fans to be able to enter stadiums, preferably by Week 1; however, officials at both the local and federal levels continue to approach these types of scenarios with caution.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, believes rushing back into packed stadiums could be detrimental to the health of the country.

"Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything," Fauci recently told James Wagner and Ken Belson of the New York Times. "If you can't guarantee safety, then unfortunately you're going to have to bite the bullet and say, 'We may have to go without this sport for this season.'"

Florio said teams expect to communicate to more vulnerable members of their fanbases, including those who are seniors or have pre-existing conditions, the risks that come with attending games. Season ticket-holders may have the option to suspend their accounts without losing the ability to purchase their tickets in 2021:

Per PFT:

"The official position of the league and the teams surely will be that anyone who chooses to attend a game will be doing so with full knowledge and awareness of the risks, and the lawyers undoubtedly will ensure that anyone buying a ticket expressly assumes the risk of catching the virus by choosing to show up for the game."

While the plan to start the season on time on September 10 remains, that date could be pushed back, and it's unknown if teams will be able to open training camps in late July as usual. Florio also noted the league has discussed moving the Super Bowl back by three weeks to February 28 in case any games are delayed before then.