FRISCO - The NFL should not play football in the fall of 2020 without the insulation of a "bubble,'' said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble - insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day - it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,'' Dr. Fauci said on Thursday on CNN.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House task force on the virus, has lauded the NBA for coming up with its bubble concept, and basketball is set to come out of hiatus at the end of July in a confined environment in Orlando.
The NFL has maintained that it will start its regular season as scheduled on Sept. 10. But the offseason work has all been virtual, training camps will occur with no travel, and preseason games are presently up in the air. The league also believes that frequent testing of players for COVID-19 (possibly three times weekly) can be part of moving forward.
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Some NFL players have tested positive for COVID-19, including Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Monday it is expected that some players will test positive for the virus, and the key is to identify them and control the spread.
“All of those players, fortunately, have had either mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, and I think our protocols are working,'' Goodell said. "And again, we expect we are going to have positive tests. That is part of the increased testing that we will be going through and that is something that we just want to make sure that our protocols are working.''
In May, Fauci said football is the "perfect set-up'' to spread the Coronavirus, citing the fact that the close contact that players engage in every play would make them especially susceptible.