When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, every sports league entered crisis management mode. While the NFL had the Super Bowl about a month before lockdowns started happening, they inevitably faced their own tough decisions throughout the offseason and the 2020 season.
In a great article by the Los Angeles Times, Sam Farmer detailed how the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell got through the season. One such instance involved the Denver Broncos as they were forced to start practice squad Kendall Hinton as Jeff Driskel tested positive and the other three quarterbacks came into close contact.
The Saints beat the Broncos 31-3 as the game wasn’t postponed. That seemed a bit odd because other games had been postponed under seemingly similar circumstances. That same week, the Steelers-Ravens game was postponed three times.
The reason the NFL took a hard line against the Broncos was that surveillance footage showed the four quarterbacks taking off their contact-tracing devices and putting them in each corner of the room so they could instead sit together and watch game film.
Other anecdotes include making the NFL Draft a virtual event and having a 10-game season that would’ve started on Thanksgiving that the teams didn’t even know about. As the league enters another season with COVID-19 looming, they have some experience in case they need to make some tough decisions this season.