2020 NFL season finally underway

Payton Cook, Contributing writer

After months of quarantine and no live sports to watch on television, the National Football League
(NFL) has finally returned to competition. The NFL has made many changes to make this season possible. These include continuous coronavirus testing, changes to team facilities and travel and the lack of fans in most stadiums.

Players, coaches and team personnel are tested every day, with the exception of players not being tested on game days.

If a player tested positive, they are required to isolate immediately, continue to wear a mask, and quarantine at home. In order to make sure the test is not a false positive, two more tests are given.

Reports have stated that the NFL will spend around $75 million on testing for this season. Each team will be given about 120 tests per team per day, and each team can pay for their own additional tests if wanted or needed.

The NFL put out strict protocols in regard to team facilities and team travel. At facilities, all players and staff must wear approved masks at all times, and strength and conditioning workouts must be limited to no more than 15 players or staff at a time to allow proper social distancing.

While traveling, no player is allowed to leave the hotel room to eat or use public transportation. There are also to be no room visits by anyone other than team members.

A change to this season that affects both players and viewers is the lack of in-person fans. The majority of the NFL teams will not have fans at their games through at least the month of September, while other teams have had limited fans. None of these teams will have fans at full capacity until further notice.

While there is coverage this season, it is not COVID-19 related, but rather roster changes.

Perhaps, the most shocking and popular roster change was Tom Brady moving to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After playing with the New England Patriots for 20 years and winning six Super Bowl championships with them, Brady announced in March that he would be moving on from the Patriots, which was a shock to many NFL fans. The Buccaneers currently stand with a 3-1 record to start this 2020 season.

Other major roster changes include players DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans to Arizona Cardinals) and Stefon Diggs (Minnesota Vikings to Buffalo Bills). Another important roster addition was Heisman trophy winner Quarterback Joe Burrow, who was the first overall 2020 draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

There are currently six teams with an undefeated record. In the American Football Conference (AFC), the Buffalo Bills lead the AFC East with a 4-0 record. The Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans are all 3-0, leading the other Conferences in the AFC.

In the National Football Conference (NFC) West, the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers are the two undefeated teams, leading the NFC West and NFC North respectively. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the NFC South while the Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFC East.