The new COVID-19 NFL guidelines have changed the way football will be played this season. The number of fans allowed in the stadiums has decreased, and there will be fewer people on the sidelines and no post-game interactions between opponents and coaches.
The 2020 NFL season began with the 2020 Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, vs. the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium Sept. 10.
The Chiefs followed the NFL COVID-19 guidelines presented. Only 22 percent of Arrowhead Stadium was open for Chief fans to attend the season opener. Fans were required wear a mask at all times, unless eating or drinking. Arrowhead Stadium is one of only six stadiums that is allowing fans to attend the games in person.
Cheerleaders and mascots will be cheering for their respective teams from afar this season as they are not allowed to stand on the sidelines. NFL players had the choice to not play this season, as football is a high-risk sport. Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif chose not to play this season because he is a doctor and wanted to continue working to fight COVID-19. Alongside Tardif, two other Chief players chose not to play this season, offensive tackle Lucas Niang and running back Damien Williams.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life, but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally,” Duvernay-Tardif said in a tweet.
Players are given the option to wear masks when playing in games, but those not participating in the game must wear a mask on the sidelines.
Although the NFL season will look different this year, it is still a huge step to have the opportunity for players to play in the 2020-21 season. The Chiefs are looking for another chance to win a Super Bowl ring with 2020 Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes signed a $500 million deal on July 6, 2020.
The Chiefs defeated the Texans 34-20. The Chiefs will next play the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Sept. 20.