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Anthony Fauci says NFL should play in ‘bubble’ like NBA, other leagues

A second wave of the coronavirus outbreak would endanger the football season under the league’s current plans.

“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. Anthony Fauci said.
“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. Anthony Fauci said.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The returns of the NBA, WNBA, MLS, and NWSL amid the COVID pandemic are predicated around forming a “bubble” environment for their respective leagues.

The NFL is planning to play its 2020 season, however, with a normal travel schedule and teams using their home stadiums. That may present an issue, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“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,” Fauci told CNN on Thursday.

He also expressed pessimism for a full season if a second wave of the coronavirus spreads during the fall.

“If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year,” he told CNN.

At least two NFL players, Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, have tested positive for the virus. Commissioner Roger Goodell in an interview with ESPN on Monday said the league expects players to test positive during the season.

In college football, programs across the country have reported players testing positive.

The NFL has allowed coaching staffs to return to team facilities, but players have not been permitted access unless they are rehabilitating injuries.

Read more at usatoday.com