The ongoing spread of COVID-19 throughout the country casts real doubt on football this fall. The NFL seems determined to push forward, but as a new map released by the NFLPA shows, that isn’t without risk.
The heat map shows the 32 NFL markets, and the spread of the virus over the last two weeks. Florida’s struggles to contain the virus in recent weeks is well documented. Miami is by far the worst area among the 32.
The Dolphins are followed by the Arizona Cardinals, another state that is spiking. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two more Florida-based franchises, are third and fourth, while the Tennessee Titans round out the top five.
Northern teams are faring better. New York was the epicenter of the virus in the United States when things started, now has the second-lowest number of average daily cases per 100,000 people, only ahead of the New England Patriots. The Bills, Lions, and Eagles round out the bottom five.
The NFLPA has released a heat map of COVID-19 in all 32 NFL markets. pic.twitter.com/K6uM0FGxBr
— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) July 16, 2020
The release shows that the NFL Players Association still has definite concerns about moving forward with the season. So far, some teams have announced far reduced fan attendance caps for games this fall. Having fans attend games at all still seems like a longshot.
The NFL schedule, released in May, was created with COVID-19 in mind. The league crafted things so that games on the front end can be moved to the back of the season if necessary.