Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, the commissioner said he believes the league will be able to complete a full season and playoffs in 2020.
"We are confident we're going to be able to play, not just the start of our season but through the remainder of our season to the Super Bowl," Goodell said (h/t ProFootballTalk).
There's good reason for Goodell's current mindset.
On Tuesday, the league released its COVID-19 test results for August 21-29, with 10 players and team personnel testing positive. That followed a week in which no players tested positive at all. NFL owners were previously told to expect a high number of cases early in training camp before a leveling off as the season drew nearer.
So far that has been the case. Yet keeping those numbers down is likely a tougher task during the season than it is during training camp, according to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio:
"As one league source explained it to PFT on Wednesday, there’s concern that players may get complacent under the more relaxed rules of regular season, especially in light of the success that teams have experienced in avoiding outbreaks throughout the first month of practice. That’s why it’s critical for coaches, players, and everyone else connected to every team remain vigilant, especially once teams have less, not more, day-to-day access to players."
ESPN's Kevin Seifert notes the NFL and NFL Players Association are finalizing a deal for regular-season testing. The league's daily testing protocol will continue to run through September 5.
Week 1 opens with the Kansas City Chiefs against the Houston Texans next Thursday. From there the NFL will look to keep its players safe through February's Super Bowl. It's a daunting task.
Goodell believes the league can manage it.