Packers' Aaron Rodgers 'Hopeful' 2020 NFL Season Will Be Played Amid COVID-19

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 13, 2020

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 19: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers rolls out during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Packers 37-20. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is "hopeful" that there will be a 2020 NFL season amid the COVID-19 pandemic (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).

"I think top of mind is are we gonna have a season?" Rodgers said at the American Century Championship golf tournament, which he participated in this weekend.

"I think there's a lot of things yet to be figured out. We're hopeful, we're hopeful that it's with fans and we can get all the testing procedures down the way they want it for the utmost amount of safety. But I think we're kind waiting for the league and the [NFL Players Association] to figure some things out."

The NFL regular season is supposed to start on Thursday, Sept. 10, when the Houston Texans visit the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Rookies are supposed to report to NFL training camps on July 21.

As Florio noted, there are still issues for the NFL and NFLPA to figure out, including "testing procedures and frequency, roster sizes, the use of face shields, preseason games, opt-out rights, and economic issues."

NFLPA President and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman JC Tretter penned a letter on the NFLPA's website discussing two points of contention in particular: the NFLPA's concern about the NFL's insistence on holding two preseason games and the league's reticence to have a 48-day training camp schedule.

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"The NFL was unwilling to follow the Joint Committee's recommendation of a 48-day training camp schedule," Tretter wrote. "Despite these experts' assessment that teams face a serious risk of player-injury spikes this year (based on past NFL data and recent findings from sports leagues that have already returned to play this year), the NFL is unwilling to prioritize player safety and believes that the virus will bend to football."

On the preseason:

"When we asked for a medical reason to play games that don't count in the standings during an ongoing pandemic, the NFL failed to provide one. The league did provide a football reason, thoughto evaluate rosters. The NFL also stated that it was important to stage preseason games to check how our game protocols will work."

Ultimately, the biggest issue may be the continued spread of COVID-19. The United States had 66,281 new and confirmed COVID-19 cases reported Sunday, per the World Health Organization, which is the country's single-highest one-day total yet.

The NFL has made numerous changes for health and safety amid the pandemic, including mandating that all training camps occur at team facilities, retrofitting facilities to allow for six feet of social distancing and hiring a third-party firm to conduct a contact-tracing procedure when a player tests positive, per ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

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