The NFL Players Association is reportedly pushing for a total elimination of 2020 preseason games, as well as a potential opt-out scenario for players in the regular season, in part because players themselves could be at a higher risk for the coronavirus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At least one NFL head coach would likely agree with any extra precautions, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Bruce Arians saying Monday that he expects every single player to "get sick" during the 2020 season.
"We've got to be careful," Arians said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "The players, they're going to all get sick, that's for sure. It's just a matter of how sick they get."
This comes on the heels of NFL Network's report that the league plans to test not only players but also their families and cohabitants for COVID-19 ahead of training camp, which is still scheduled to start later this month.
At 67, Arians himself added that he'll be operating differently in 2020 because of COVID-19. As the Times noted, prior to 2019, the former Arizona Cardinals coach had not finished a full season as a head coach without at least one trip to the hospital. A three-time cancer survivor, Arians also stepped down as Cardinals coach following the 2017 campaign, despite having additional seasons under contract, because of health concerns.
"I got to be real careful," he said Monday. "I'll probably double with a mask and a (face) shield. You know, because l already had my scare out there (in Arizona) once a couple of years ago. For me personally, I've got a plan and I just have to be smart enough to stay with it."