Cleveland Browns: Will the 2020 NFL season actually happen?

Will we have Cleveland Browns football in 2020?

With the Cleveland Browns officially set to open training camp on July 28th, the likelihood of a season still feels in jeopardy. While it is great to see the team’s starting to prepare for the 2020 season, there is no doubt this will be an offseason like no other. Because of the circumstances from COVID-19, safety and testing will be a top priority by all teams. With a shortened offseason and to reduce exposure to the virus, there will also be zero preseason games compared to the typical four.

While these circumstances will be tough for all teams around the league, the Browns may have a tougher challenge with so many new faces in the locker room and a completely new coaching staff. First-year head coach Kevin Stefanski made it clear early, this would not be an excuse for failure, but there is no doubt gelling may be more difficult compared to years past.

While players begin reporting and being tested on July 28th, no physical football activities will begin until August 3rd, which includes a daily walk-thru period. It’s not until the ramp-up period on August 12th that on-field drills can begin with helmets starting on the 14th. The final period of practice from August 17th through September 6th will include up to 14 practices fully padded with contact.

While veterans like Jarvis Landry and Sheldon Richardson may only need two weeks to get ready for a regular-season game, rookies like Jedrick Wills and Grant Delpit could certainly use more practice time before being asked to start their first game in the NFL.

With MLB hitting their first snag only four days into the season with 12 players/coaches on one team testing positive, it’s beginning to look like an impossible feat to make it through the World Series. For now, the season is continuing, but if one or two more teams get wiped out for 14 days it could be tough to continue.

The NFL plan does include daily testing, which MLB does not, but only time will tell if that will be enough to get us to the Super Bowl in February. The NBA appears to have the safest path to finishing a season with the “bubble”, fewer teams, fewer players per team, and one location making everything much easier. Unfortunately for the NFL and MLB, a “bubble” would be far too complicated with too many players to house and too much rest between games in the NFL’s case.

There is no doubt that most of us need football this fall, especially after such a difficult summer that included a crippling economy and stay at home orders for 30 plus days in some areas.

While we all want to enjoy live sports again, the recent outbreak for the Miami Marlins is likely the first of many that will put sports on halt until the virus is contained or a vaccine is finalized.