BOSTON (CBS) — From the very start of the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL has marched full steam ahead with the 2020 offseason, aiming toward not only holding the regular season as scheduled but to do so with stadiums full of fans. Now in June, with OTAs and minicamps canceled and with multiple players and coaches from four NFL teams testing positive for COVID-19, such goals are really looking to be slightly optimistic.
Whether or not the NFL manages to hold its season without a hitch remains to be seen. But Devin and Jason McCourty have their doubts.
Speaking on their “Double Coverage” podcast, the veteran defensive backs shared their concerns with football’s plans to open training camp in late July in advance of an on-time start to the 2020 season in September.
“I love how a lot of players’ attention has been on what’s going on outside of football, and I think we’ll continue to do that. But figuring out football, to me, seems to be the hardest thing right now,” Devin McCourty said, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “We hope, but I don’t know if we’ll figure it out, honestly.”
Jason McCourty lives in Nashville, close to the field where 49ers players held informal practice sessions. One of those players tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s kind of scary because something like that, I think it was probably just offense, so they probably had maybe 10 guys out there. When you think about the future, if it’s hard for 10 guys just to get together to do little passing drills or anything of that nature, to think about somewhere between 53 and 90 guys in a training camp, it’s going to be insane,” Jason McCourty said. “So I don’t know how that’s going to turn out.”
Both twins expressed clear and obvious issues with the idea of emulating the NBA’s “bubble” environment, both for logistical reasons (all 32 teams needing 100-plus people) and personal reasons (leaving families for five or six months).
Devin McCourty said that their concerns are shared by just about everyone in the NFL.
“I think everybody’s nervous, because the norm is that we just go to work — we put in a lot of work, we bond together, we lift, we’re in close quarters. It feels like that’s all being taken away from us, so I don’t know how to react,” Devin said. “I don’t know what’s it’s going to be.”
Despite the obvious worries, Jason said that he’s preparing as if the season will be held.
“Right now it’s controlling what we can control from a physical and mental standpoint in getting ready for the season and assuming that that’s going to take place,” Jason said.