By: Nicholas Williams ’21
Photo courtesy of @BrooksReed on Twitter
Most have heard of the ways COVID-19 is affecting in-season sports, such as basketball, swimming, track, etc. It has also affected one of America’s favorite sports, football.
The National Football League, in particular, has been affected in a multitude of ways during this offseason and for the months to come.
Brooks Reed, a nine-year veteran in the NFL and a current free agent who played for the Arizona Cardinals last season, shared his knowledge of the effect COVID-19 has had on his beloved sport.
“Nobody knows if the NFL season will be delayed, hopefully not. A lot of sports fans will have gone without any sports for a long time, but hopefully, by July, the virus will be gone. If it does start then, expect a much larger audience than usual. People love their sports,” Reed said.
Reed also said that this is typically the time during the offseason where there is plenty of traveling, training, youth camps and many other activities.
COVID-19 has forced the NFL to cancel all of these activities due to the fact it has something to do with human interaction.
“Thankfully, I have a personal gym at my house so I have been able to get some good work in. I use my backyard as a field to do sprints, med ball work, etc. I know what I have to do to play at a high level, but it for sure makes it easier when I can work out at home.”
Free agency is still very much active though, as there has already been a lot of movement this year, whether it be someone like Tom Brady who is taking his talent to the Buccaneers or Deandre Hopkins to the Cardinals.
Regarding the NFL Draft, It is one of the only activities that are still planned to take place, it just won’t have a crowd.
Right now in the offseason calendar, coaches and scouts are usually on the road to interview, observe and work out draft prospects.
However, teams are already outside their typical travel schedule. Facilities have been shut down. There are no meetings with teams, no workouts, no pre-draft visits and limited medical information.
Organized Team Activities have also been canceled, which Reed claims is unfortunate for the rookies from this upcoming draft because this is when they would spend time getting to know their fellow teammates and coaches, as well as learning their playbook to prepare themselves for the season ahead.