The 2020 NFL season will be a truly once-in-a-lifetime affair. That is assuming the COVID-19 crisis will not be around when the season starts next year. The ongoing pandemic has forced NFL teams to delay pre-season preparations due to player safety concerns. However, NFL rookies (Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, etc) and franchise quarterbacks have already reported for training last week. The rest of the players on the team roster will report for training from July 28 onwards.
The Houston Texans take on Super Bowl LIV winners Kansas City Chiefs in the opening game of the 2020 season in September. Here’s what Texans Head Coach, Bill O’Brien had to say about all the young players gunning for an NFL debut this year.
“It’s going to be a difficult year for younger players. With no preseason games and less practice, especially having no rookie minicamps and no OTAs in the spring, you’re gonna have to get down to who your team is faster than you have in the past and get your team ready to go, and do it in an intelligent way. I’ve had discussions with a lot of different guys on our team,” O’Brien said while talking to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
O’Brien does have a point. NFL’s number one draft pick Joe Burrow along with other rookies such as Tee Higgins (Cincinnati Bengals), CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys), Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins) and others will have a peculiar offseason as compared to their predecessors.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has delayed preseason training camps. It will be interesting to see how rookie players cope with the new challenges they come across this season. Talking about his own team, O’Brien added “One of our leaders is Dylan Cole. In 2017 he was a rookie tryout guy. He stood out to us and then we brought him on to the 90-man, and he played well in the preseason that year, and he made our team, and now he’s a special teams captain. That’s going to be hard for a guy to do this year. That’s just how I see it. It’s not that it can’t be done, it’s just going to be more difficult.”
SOURCE: Sports Illustrated