Report: Troy Polamalu, Champ Bailey Headline NFL's COVID-19 Advisory Committee

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 21, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu (43) sits on the bench during the second half of a 30-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL wildcard playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The NFL has added eight former players, executives and coaches to a COVID-19 advisory panel that is expected to help NFL commissioner Roger Goodell navigate a series of potential issues that could arise throughout the 2020 season. 

According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the board will include Champ Bailey, Isaac Bruce, Charley Casserly, Tom Coughlin, Marvin Lewis, Troy Polamalu, Bill Polian and Rick Smith. 

Florio explained the reasoning behind the committee's assembly and where they may influence decisions this season:

"The league decided to compile a committee of former executives, coaches, and players not currently connected to the NFL, in order to avoid the obvious conflicts of interest that would apply to members of the Competition Committee, who currently are affiliated with teams that will be affected, directly or indirectly, by the decisions the Commissioner may have to make.

"As explained during a Wednesday conference call with reporters by NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent, the committee will advise Goodell on matters relating to whether games should proceed, and also on issues regarding playoff seeding if some teams play fewer than 16 games in 2020, due to the pandemic."

The NFL has maintained a desire to begin its season as scheduled on September 10, though the coronavirus pandemic has led to some significant changes already.

Teams will have to decide whether to allow fans into stadiums in accordance with state, local and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Clubs have also already made use of a COVID List designation for players who contract the virus or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

Florio further noted that while members of the committee were chosen in part because of a lack of a connection to any team, individual biases may be tough to overcome during any decision-making process.