Right now fans are concerned about one thing. Will the Chicago Bears play games on time and will people be allowed in stadiums. Scientists have made it clear that until a viable vaccine comes out, the best thing to hope for is heavily downsized crowds that maintain proper social distance. No more than 25% of the usual capacity. Not exactly what the NFL was hoping for.
Yet there is another problem that not a lot of people are willing to discuss. Is there a possibility that some players around the league including Chicago who might choose to forego the 2020 season rather than risk contracting COVID-19? Already some NBA players are reportedly doing just that, deciding not to join their teams for the resumption of the season down in Florida.
Longtime Bears insider Hub Arkush warns that the NFL will definitely see much of the same thing. He told McNeil & Parkins of 670 The Score as much in a recent radio interview.
“I’ve had a number of players tell me they’re not playing. But it’s all been off the record at this point and when I say a number of players, there’s 1800 of them. I’ve talked to a few dozen but yeah I know of some players who’ve said they’re not playing. As I’ve said it was off the record so I’m not naming names.”
One can bet the Chicago Bears have such players in the mix
Given Arkush’s deep connections to the Bears, it’s a safe bet at least one or two names on that list were from that team. Suffice to say, this is a genuine concern. The last thing the NFL wants is some of their star players choosing to sit out the season out of fear of the virus. It would only hurt their financial bottom line even more on top of limited crowds.
Imagine if Khalil Mack decided he didn’t want to take that risk? The impact on the Bears defense would be devastating. Or what about Allen Robinson, who’s been pretty outspoken about this issue? Suddenly the best weapon on the offense is gone. This is why the league is trying to put together a plan to help battle against the risks of contracting the virus as much as possible.
It better be a good one.