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Dr. Fauci: Football must embrace 'bubble' format for 2020 season

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 6/18/2020 Blake Harper, Yardbarker
Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Anthony Fauci has a grim outlook on how football will be played this fall. © Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Dr. Anthony Fauci has a grim outlook on how football will be played this fall.

Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that for a football season to be possible, the NFL and NCAA would need to embrace the "bubble" format that will be used by the NBA and NHL in the upcoming months.

"Unless players are essentially in a bubble - insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day - it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall," Fauci said. "If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year."

While the offseason has been entirely remote, the NFL currently is scheduled to start on time. And the league seems intent on having fans at games, as regular-season tickets are available to purchase. However, Dr. Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the face of the White House COVID-19 task force, does not seem to share the league's optimism, instead noting that football is "the perfect set-up" for the coronavirus to spread.

The NFL Players Association told players this week that they could be tested every three days and if they test positive for COVID-19, they could be isolated. This falls in line with Dr. Fauci's suggestion to test players regularly and keep them separated as much as possible.

Meanwhile, the NCAA Division I Council approved a six-week practice plan for football that will start in July, with the hopes that the season will begin on time.

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