How coronavirus continues to impact NFL

NBC Sports

I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to New York governor Andrew Cuomo during the corona crisis. He talks most days on radio stations around the state, updating the citizens about the latest Covid-19 news. It’s been good to know day by day how the issues especially in New York City are being addressed, and Cuomo does it in a firm, no-sugar-coating way. He makes the Army Corps of Engineers prepping to build insta-hospitals (something like the way it happened in China) seem logical and the only way to move forward.

During a break in writing Sunday, I was listening to Cuomo speaking to his citizens from Albany when he said:

“This is not a short-term situation,” he said. “It’s going to be four months, six months, nine months. Nobody has a crystal ball. No one can tell you. But it is in that range. So start to plan accordingly.”

I had an NFL general manager on Friday ask me what effect I thought the coronavirus would have on the season. Where does one start? The draft. Easy to say the draft will be studio sport. Other than the Vegas economy missing out on 400,000 visitors and the draftees who want a big moment, not a big deal. Then the offseason programs, which may be either shuttered or limited. Also manageable. Now for training camps. They open in about four months. Now we’re into the if-everything-goes-right mode. Opening weekend is scheduled to be played in five months and three weeks. Could there be games with no fans in some places, or in all places? Will there even be games?

Before going to work for NFL Network in 2012, Daniel Jeremiah worked for the Eagles, Ravens and Browns as a scout. So the life of the NFL Network’s lead draft analyst isn’t altogether different from the life he leads at this time of year. “I would be hopscotching the country, going to pro days,” he said Saturday from his home in California. “Not this year.”

Jeremiah asked me to hold for a minute, to fish his 2020 pro day schedule out of the garbage. Literally. While he foraged, he said, “I threw it away the other day—didn’t need it anymore,” he said.

Last Wednesday, Jeremiah would have attended the Georgia pro day, and last Thursday he’d have been in Columbia, S.C., at South Carolina’s. “Then Ohio State on Wednesday the 25th. We were going to blow out the Joe Burrow pro day at LSU April 3, and Tua’s [Taigovailoa] workout on April 9. We’d have gone live, shown every throw.”

I wondered, with all the pro days cancelled this year and scouts home-bound, what exactly were the biggest things they’d be missing.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.