NFL bubble? Not likely. As the NFL prepares for the start of the 2020 season, the league does not plan on using a bubble concept similar to what the NBA is doing to limit the spread of the coronavirus among its players.
After 13 members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus. NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said the league will continue to focus on quick and efficient handling of positive tests. As part of what the league now refers to as a “virtual football bubble.”
“We’ve said all along that we expected there would be positive cases among players and personnel,” Sills said in a phone interview with ESPN on Monday. “And there may be a number on each team. As long as this virus is endemic in society, we’re going to continue to see new cases.
Update on NFL Bubble Status
“What we think is important. Is that we have protocols in place that can identify those cases as quickly as possible, and make sure that once we identify them, we take the right action, which is to isolate the individual away from the team, get them the appropriate treatment and then do the contact tracing.”
Other professional leagues like the NBA, WNBA, MLS and NWSL implemented bubble structures. Allowing essential personnel to enter. Only after extended isolation and multiple negative tests.
The NFL decided on a series of protocols. Limiting movement and contact at the team facilities. During travel and in games. While giving teams the option to discipline players or other employees who take risky actions when away from the facility.
“We landed at the place where everyone felt the most comfortable.” Sills said, “In terms of the safety. Balanced against the pragmatic aspects.”