The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a revised collective bargaining agreement for the 2020 season in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson has been very supportive of the plan.. Despite the red flags we've seen from other leagues that have restarted, and the fact that training camp is just days away from opening for most NFL teams, Pederson isn't concerned with how football has conducted their business.
"I feel extremely safe," Pederson said on the NFL's COVID-19 testing and protocols. "Coming into it there might have been some skepticism about the testing and the screening that goes on, but this process is very thorough. When you're here, you get tested in the morning -- you got a screening process to go through to get into the building -- wearing masks in the building everywhere we go. I feel extremely safe. This is our bubble, right here at NovaCare (Complex, the Eagles practice facility).
"I can't control everything. We can't control everything. There probably are going to be some things that come up down the road. Right now I feel extremely safe and this is a great environment for our players to succeed in."
The NFL will not be held in a bubble like the NBA and NHL and will instead be taking a route similar to Major League Baseball in traveling to different cities across the nation and playing a normal home and road schedule. Baseball experienced the first true test of its coronavirus protocol Sunday as 12 Miami Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for the virus over the last two days, forcing their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies game against the New York Yankees to be postponed (the Phillies played the Marlins Sunday).
If the Eagles experience an outbreak of COVID-19, they have a plan in place. Players have an extensive breakdown for any scenario if another player or anyone on staff contracts COVID-19.
"What the NFL has put in place, the Players Association, the agreement there -- it gives us hope, it gives us excitement moving forward," Pederson said. "We understand the virus is real and we do everything we can in our power to stay safe, protecting ourselves when we're in the building, protecting our players. It's unfortunate what has happened, but we do have a lengthy set of protocols we have to abide by.
"This is our new normal, working in these conditions. It's something we're going to embrace. We're going to make it a positive. It is what it is."