As the NFL gets ready to start the season in two days, there are more encouraging signs the league has a chance to play through the coronavirus pandemic without major disruptions. 

Only one player tested positive for the coronavirus during the league’s latest testing period. More than 17,000 tests were administered to 2,641 players from Aug. 30-Sept. 5.

Seven of the 5,708 team personnel members tested positive for the coronavirus. Anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 was isolated immediately and not permitted to have direct contact with other players or team personnel.

Four NFL players tested positive for the coronavirus during the league's testing period of Aug. 21-29. 

The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans will kick off the 2020 season Thursday night. The rest of the league will open the season either Sunday or Monday.

The NFL has taken lessons from other sports as it moves toward its return. Playing in a bubble in Orlando, Florida, the NBA hasn’t had a single positive test since games resumed on July 30. Dozens of MLB games have been suspended since late July because of positive coronavirus tests as teams continue to travel across the country.

 

 

There isn’t an official league-wide bubble though individual teams are policing themselves and encouraging players to avoid any activity that could expose them to the virus. 

“We don’t think a bubble’s practical for a five-month season, and we have what we call a bubble with each club,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told CNBC last week. “So there’s a bubble around our training facilities. Those have gone through extensive protocols. We also have a bubble around our stadiums, and that’s an extensive protocol that are separate. And so for a five-month period, you need to have that kind of environment.”

The NFL will test players and other essential employees for the coronavirus every day of the regular season except game day, according to reports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is in the best possible position to complete a full 2020 season through the Super Bowl after very few positive COVID-19 tests among players so far during training camp NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is in the best possible position to complete a full 2020 season through the Super Bowl after very few positive COVID-19 tests among players so far during training camp Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Maddie Meyer