Editor’s note: This story first appeared on AMNY.com.
Of the four major North American professional sports leagues, the NBA, NHL, and MLB have hit considerable roadblocks due to the outbreak of COVID-19 over the last three months.
Basketball and hockey — which were in their final stretches of the regular season — had to immediately postpone play indefinitely with hopes that they’ll be able to return shortly and finish their respective seasons over the summer.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball has yet to celebrate its revered Opening Day, originally scheduled for March 26. As it stands, a late-June or early-July return could be in the cards.
As for the NFL, America’s most popular league might avoid the brunt of the coronavirus storm that has left the sports league in ruin — a trivial byproduct of a far more concerning worldwide problem.
According to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, there is an “extremely small” chance that football will face cancellations in 2020.
That slim chance would mean that future trends and information regarding the virus would be “dramatically incorrect.” To put it simply, the virus would have to be as serious as it currently is or was in previous weeks.
The hope now is that fans will be able to attend games by Week 1 — a remarkable turnaround for a country that is still preaching social distancing while frowning upon gatherings of more than 10 people.
Week 1 of the 2020 season is expected to kick-off in the first week of September — the NFL expected to release its first-ever 17-game schedule sometime next week, per reports.
Even amidst the height of the pandemic, the NFL still managed to hold its annual draft with commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the picks from his basement in Bronxville, New York, from April 23-25.