HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Professional football survived the Spanish Flu and league officials say it will survive COVID-19.
The National Football League is going to extremes to make this work. Officials say it will not be easy, but they are moving ahead with the 2020 season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Op-Ed in the Washington Post that, based on the single-digit positive COVID-19 cases among NFL players and other personnel over the past month of testing, the league is cautiously optimistic about the season.
Players will wear electronic devices that track who they have come into contact with both on and off the field.
There is daily testing of players and staff. Players will be tested the day before games to make sure they are COVID-19 free.
During the game day coin toss, there will be only one representative from each team. They will be in face masks, and the referee will be wearing a face mask too.
Cheerleaders, mascots, sideline reporters and nonessential personnel will not be allowed on the field at all.
There will also be electrostatic sprayers on the sidelines that league officials say will provide wide coverage over high-touch surfaces and equipment.
As far as fans, only a half-dozen stadiums are allowing spectators. Around 20,000 fans will be on hand to see the Chiefs and our Houston Texans.
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On the field, the rules of the game remain the same, but there will be big changes that will be noticeable once play starts.
"Almost everything else is going to look different, starting with the number of people on the field," said NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills. "You'll see the bench area drastically reduced in size in terms of number of occupants, and certainly far fewer support people around the field, including media and stadium staff. Those that are in and around the bench area will also be in masks and face coverings."
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Houston Texans test the NFL's plan to stay COVID-19 safe while getting back to business