The drama surrounding the roll out of various professional sports leagues is starting to reach a fever pitch. Bundesliga and the PGA Tour are already underway, but other leagues still have work to do. For example, we’ve recently been forced to endure the
shenanigans ongoing negotiations between the MLB and their players association, although that particular conflict has more to do with money than the safety of major league baseball players. But this is a brave new world; there’s no contingency plan owners and players can fall back on. These are uncertain times, and they are literally figuring it out as they go.
Falcons training camp is tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of July. But in light of the global pandemic, how will this really work? What logistical hurdles will the team have to overcome? If one player gets sick, how will they prevent an outbreak that invariably leads to a teamwide quarantine?
One idea the team has apparently floated is hosting training camp, at least in part, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This will provide for more space and allow for proper social distancing.
Dan Quinn said team meeting would have to happen outside right now based on Covid-19 guidelines. Falcons have talked about having things at stadium for training camp for space— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) June 15, 2020
On its face, this isn’t a horrible solution, inasmuch as it helps the team put players through individual drills. But what happens when they have to hit each other, even at half speed? “Social distancing” won’t be possible when that’s required. So that’s where prolific, widespread testing will come into play, I’d imagine. Limiting the movement of players in order to create a protective bubble is another preventative step the league is likely to entertain. And when it comes to team meetings, they will need to find a way to spread out.
Dan Quinn says they've discussed using the indoor practice facility to hold team meetings as a way to accommodate social distancing. #Falcons— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) June 15, 2020
Dan Quinn says he believes players and coaches would be comfortable with social distance spacing while on the field. He believes the discomfort would be within meeting rooms. #Falcons— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) June 15, 2020
Because the start of training camp is still nearly 2 months away, it’s easy to think these are all surmountable problems with achievable solutions. But when the team has to actually take substantive steps to make training camp and the regular season come to fruition, reality may slap us all in the face. Just last week, the University of Houston had to shut down preseason workouts for the football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball teams. Those workouts had just begun on June 1st, although their testing protocol was reportedly pretty lackluster.
Truth be told, no one knows whether a regular season is really possible; not yet at least. We certainly hope it is—we just don’t know ... yet. But these are the questions that need answers, and it’s good to see that they are starting to search in earnest for viable solutions.
Your thoughts, Falcoholics?