OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh routinely keeps his protective mask around his neck during Zoom interviews.
He doesn't have to wear the covering over his face because he is socially distant in an office at the team's headquarters.
Nonetheless, precautions have to be taken if the NFL wants to pull off the 2020 season without a hitch.
Teams have set their initial 53-man roster and are game-planning for the first opponent after a tumultuous offseason that included canceled practices, an abbreviated training camp, and no preseason games.
It's still an ongoing adjustment to the so-called new normal during a worldwide pandemic.
"I mean a more normal time for the in-season part of it," Harbaugh said. "Training camp … This has been a different kind of a year, sure, as far as training camp. But training camp practices and things like that [are] still football practice. I don’t know how ‘quote-unquote’ normal this is, because, obviously, it’s just different.
"We haven’t played a game yet. This is the first game without any preseason games. We still do have the protocols in place that you guys are mentioning. So, I don’t know – is anything normal in 2020? I guess we’ll find out.”
The Ravens open their season at home against AFC North rival, the Cleveland Browns, on Sept. 13.
NFL teams have done a tremendous job keeping their players healthy during the pandemic. The league and NFLPA recently reached an agreement to extend daily COVID-19 testing for players and other individuals until further notice, with the exception of game day, according to multiple reports.
"We’re with these guys and we’re all together a lot, so we talk about a lot of things," Harbaugh said. "Definitely, that’s something that comes up on a regular basis. It’s not like you’re … The guys get it. Even as a head coach, I don’t have to say it that often. The players are saying it to each other quite often. So, everybody is in this together and they’ve done a really good job.”