It has continued to be an uphill battle for the NFL to work toward getting the 2020 season. There continue to be lingering concerns from the players around the health measures in place ahead of the upcoming campaign that is about a month away. Things have shifted positively for Houston Texans star defensive end JJ Watt to make a strong declaration about the 2020 season.
JJ Watt’s doubts about the 2020 season
It hasn’t been the smoothest offseason as the league has made many adjustments due to the coronavirus.
That has seen the cancellation of the entire preseason while training camp moved back to the few weeks ahead of the 2020 season. These moving parts pushed forward much concern from many players. JJ Watt was among them airing out his doubts about things moving forward as planned.
Watt has become quite involved in the entire process that saw him dive headfirst into NFLPA meetings. That saw him voice on Twitter about concerns regarding how the NFL plans to prepare to play the 2020 season. Much of his sentiment toward the situation is what many of his colleagues felt. It led to 66 players electing to opt-out of the 2020 season altogether.
Despite that, Watt has changed his tune a bit on his concerns regarding the upcoming campaign.
JJ Watt finally optimistic about the 2020 season
There are many moving parts that the NFL is juggling in the coming weeks ahead of the 2020 season.
The league has done enough to create some optimism from JJ Watt as he told Peter King of NBC Sports that he believes things will start as planned.
“I believe Week 1 will happen,” J.J. Watt told me the other day. “I’m optimistic.”
There are growing reasons for that positive outlook as the NFL is putting forth a better approach to the situation. That has seen the majority of the 56 players that test positive for the virus returning to the teams in full health. There are many other factors at play, but there is some structure in place that has Watt believing the season will start on time.
More necessary steps ahead
The NFL has faced their fair share of difficulties along the way, but it’s a situation that there is no precedent.
All of the sports league in the United States have attempted to move through the matter in a unique precarious manner. Unlike the other major sports league, the NFL has had the luxury of their 2020 season not yet commencing. That window of time didn’t equate to a more sound approach but rather the league stumbling a few times.
There remains many crucial decision to be made before things can take the next step forward. The NFL still has no clarity if there will be any fans in attendance for the regular-season games. The Las Vegas Raiders have already stated they won’t have any fans a their games, while the New England Patriots are preparing for reduced seating availability.
Meanwhile, the NFL and the NFLPA have yet to work out the terms of the expected pay cut for the 2020 season. That alone could create a massive hurdle for the league to play the campaign on time. There is reason for optimism with the entire situation, but many more critical decisions must be handled first.
Only time will tell if the NFL can make the appropriate moves to put a sound plan that can allow the 2020 season to move forward in a safe manner.