Were you still holding out hope that we would have some real live football in shorts to talk about before the end of June? Well, the NFL just took your hopes out back with a rifle and put it out of its misery. Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo yesterday confirming that there will be no in-person minicamp this year, and in addition the prohibition of players entering team facilities, unless for team-approved active injury rehabilitation treatments, remains in effect.
Here’s the see-you-at-camp memo that went out earlier. Really, the remote chance there was on players coming back pre-July was discussion over rookies and new acquisitions coming in to take physicals and sign contracts.
That’s off the table now. pic.twitter.com/7vw2WrBY44
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) June 11, 2020
In other words, in spite of an earlier memo from the league that took a much more optimistic tone about the slim chances of seeing playing before the end of June, which the NFLPA had to respond to, making clear that it was not with their approval, the league is now stating that we will not see players until, at the earliest, July 22.
That is when the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys are expected to open their training camp, but that is if and only if the preseason goes on without a hitch and the Hall of Fame game is played. The league is already considering the possibility of shortening the preseason to just two games, so if they does happen, teams probably wouldn’t report to training camp until August.
As we sit here today, we must remember that this country is fighting two battles: one against injustice, and another against a virus. The latter has taken a backseat in the headlines lately because of the former, but not because everything is rosy.
Over 23,000 new cases were reported yesterday, with more than 900 confirmed fatalities, due to Covid-19. While earlier major epicenters like New York and New Jersey have been able to hit the downturn, new hot spots have arisen, with dozens of states seeing cases rises, some approaching critical levels, such as in Arizona, where ICU hospital bed occupancy has hit as high as 78 percent.
More than 800,000 people in the United States have been recorded as having recovered from the coronavirus. That is fantastic. But there are still over 1.1 million active cases, which is more than a third of all active cases in the world, and nearly 17,000 are listed as critical.
California reported over 3500 new cases yesterday. Texas, over 2000. Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, all in the 1000-1500 range. Illinois reported 90 fatalities. Despite a dwindling of new cases, New Jersey still saw 85 new deaths.
As the world has tried to reopen, in many instances, we have found that we are not yet ready, and are causing things to get worse, forcing us to reinstate protections that were working. I’m speaking mostly about around the rest of the world, but the only thing that will prevent us from doing this in certain areas will be stubbornness. Haircuts are not essential to your health. If necessary, they can wait.
And we can wait until the end of July for football. But if we don’t approach the next couple of months carefully, we could put even that in jeopardy.