As the NFL gears up for its opening week, the outlook on Covid looks rather encouraging from around the league.
According to the latest Covid testing results, there was only one new confirmed positive among players and seven new positives among other personnel who were tested from Aug. 30 through Sept. 5.
Players, Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel were tested daily in this period while Tier 3 individuals were tested weekly. There were 17.519 total tests administered to 2,641 players while 26,991 tests were administered to 5,708 personnel.
The NFL faces arguably the greatest challenge of the four major sports in playing its season through the coronavirus pandemic. Roster sizes are significantly greater than the NBA, NHL and MLB and it is a full contact sport that will not be played in a bubble.
MLB opted against a bubble format and has had to adjust on the fly to limit outbreaks within teams by postponing games and rescheduling multiple doubleheaders.
Many NFL teams took it upon themselves to create their own bubble within training camp this preseason, but with no preseason games no team has had to travel and come into contact with another team.
Some teams also plan to have fans inside the stadium at a limited capacity – which would make it the first major sport in the U.S. to do so.
The NFL season begins on Thursday when the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium, which is expected to have fans present for the game.