The NFL hopes to play the 2020 season as scheduled amid COVID-19. However, the league is facing a number of challenges as it tries to reach that goal.
New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins addressed some of those concerns today. Jenkins was recently hired by CNN as a contributor, and he appeared on the network Thursday to discuss the return of football.
The veteran safety outlined the differences between the NBA, which is planning on confining its players in a bubble-type atmosphere, and the NFL, which has a lot more players, coaches and staff members to worry about. Jenkins said that the league is on more of a “trust or honor system” of social distancing.
He also admitted feeling concern about potentially exposing his parents to COVID-19 and said that other players’ families could be at some risk.
“I think until we get to the point where we have protocols in place, until we get to the place as a country where we feel safe, we have to understand football is a nonessential business and so we don’t need to do it,” he said. “So the risk, you know, has to be really eliminated before we — before I would feel comfortable with going back.”
JUST NOW: "Football is a nonessential business and so we don't need to do it. So the risk, you know, has to be really eliminated before we — before I would feel comfortable with going back. "
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) June 25, 2020
While Jenkins isn’t saying he won’t participate in training camp or the preseason later this summer, he is expressing some valid concerns about how the NFL is going to move forward. The United States just set a single-day record for highest number of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, and parts of the country continue to look like “hot spots” for the disease.
This morning, the NFL announced it was canceling the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, which was set for August 6. The 2020 enshrinement ceremony has been postponed as well.