Danny Kanell Less Optimistic About The 2020 NFL Season

The NFL wants to have a 2020 season, but the coronavirus pandemic may have other plans

Tiki and Tierney
July 09, 2020 - 7:32 pm

The NFL would like to have a 2020 season, but even after implementing COVID-19 protocols – some of which seem silly, pointless, or both – the pandemic may prove too tough to tackle.

What are the odds that the NFL will actually start the season seamlessly and on time?

“If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have said 98 percent confidence level,” CBS Sports HQ NFL analyst Danny Kanell said on Tiki & Tierney. “I would put it today at probably 75 percent confidence level. Just look around the landscape of our country and what a mess we are right now in our battle with this pandemic. That’s just kind of on a general scale. When you look at what’s going on in Texas and Florida and Arizona . . . [and] in other sports leagues, [it’s disconcerting].”

Nashville SC and FC Dallas, for example, have already withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament due to the number of positive coronavirus tests.

“Two teams have already been sent home,” Kanell said. “That’s devastating if you’re hoping to have an NFL season.”

At this point, community spread is clearly inevitable. Will the NFL ultimately have to cancel its season?

“The only thing I can think of that possibly becomes a mindset – and I don’t know if it’s even feasible – is if the NFL says, ‘This is the reality of the situation, and we’re going to live with it,’” Kanell said. “I don’t know if they have the fortitude to do that, [and] I don’t think it’s the best scenario to go forward in. But if you take any other stance, if you try to say, ‘We’re going to maintain social distancing,’ or, ‘We’re going to try to minimize travel’ – what are you going to do on the field? The game is in close contact and it requires you to breathe on others, sweat on others, lean on others. It’s one big cesspool.”

The NFL may rely on the fact that its players are in a low-risk population and might even let players decide whether or not they play. The league could also try to prevent at-risk populations – the elderly and immunocompromised – from participating in the season.

“That’s really the only way, I think, they can move forward,” Kanell said.