What makes the NFL’s lack of a clear COVID-19 plan so puzzling, though, is that the key dynamic of this issue hasn’t changed: The NFL isn’t going to pack up and move to New Zealand to play a season, and it simply can’t create a bubble out at some resort to accommodate 32 teams and keep the rest of the world out.
That means NFL players, just like the rest of us, are going to have to go to work and go home and try to remain healthy and wonder whether any interaction with the outside world is going to put themselves or their families at risk of a highly contagious, unpredictable and dangerous virus. That dynamic hasn’t changed over the last for months. And even for all the money players make, I would no more expect them to show up to work without understanding the precautions their employers were taking than I would anyone else.
Whether the NFL has been dragging its feet or simply ensnared in a prolonged back-and-forth with a players’ union that decided to finally apply some public pressure Sunday no longer matters.