NFL Plans For Possible Playoff Changes, Rewards For Diversity Hirings
With rising cases of COVID-19 in the NFL, owners are now planning contingency plans in the event of the NFL season being canceled.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is very focused on playing out the whole 17 game season. While acknowledging the increasing confirmed positive cases in the league, he noted that if the season were to be canceled then the playoffs would be expanded to a 16-team format.
This comes after cases are rising throughout the country. Fifty-six NFL employees tested positive between November 1-7. That is twice the number of positives from September 27-October 3 with 26 positive cases. The outbreak at the Tennessee Titans forced the league to make changes to its early-season schedule.
Since then, the league started to isolate individuals with close contact to COVID-positives for five days. The league has been able to move forward with its schedule and season. The NFL chose to forgo a bubble and to do a traditional football season. Instead, it has focused on preventing the spread of cases. But that is becoming increasingly difficult according to NFL Chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills. Of the 56 employees testing positive, 41 are team front office staff and not employees.
Owners have finalized a plan that is aimed to diversify the league and encourage the hiring of minority coaches and executives being hired. Teams will be rewarded by the league if they hire or promoted to a head-coaching or general manager job, they will receive two third-round compensatory draft picks.
The NFL has been looking to address the lack of diversity issue in the league. So far, the NFL only has four minority head coaches and just two minority general managers.