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NFL 2020: kicks off on the first Sunday of the season, here’s what you need to know



However, things will be very different this year.

There will be no fans in most stadiums to start the year, and you may not see some of your favorite players in costume due to the pandemic.

With most of the teams playing today, here’s what you need to know with the NFL first Sunday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a series of social justice initiatives planned by the league, including helmet decals, a push for voter activation and phrases stamped in the end zones.

Teams will have the phrases “It Takes Everyone” and “An End to Racism” painted in the end zones of each team throughout the season.

The NFL will play the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

; – known as the Black National Anthem – before games on the opening weekend, while airing footage showing the social justice work of players and teams.

Goodell said a number of players told him voting was the number one issue that mattered to them, which helped spur NFL Votes, a voting initiative the league launched in July.

It is a league and non-partisan initiative that Goodell said “supports and encourages civic engagement and the vote of fans, players, legends and club and league staff.”

The initiative will focus on three key parts of the electoral process: voter education, registration and activation. Educational programs were conducted with players from all 32 teams, and Goodell said the league encouraged teams to offer their stadiums as polling centers.

Goodell, who last month said he wished the league had “heard first” Colin Kaepernick when he began protesting during the national anthem in 2016, also announced that league players will be able to “put the spotlight on victims and honor victims of systemic racism and police brutality “with decals on their helmets bearing the names of the victims.

Players will be wearing those decals throughout the season.

The leaders begin the defense of the title

The Kansas City Chiefs began their Super Bowl title defense on Thursday by waxing the Houston Texans 34-20.

Chiefs vs. Texans on the opening night

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked sharper than ever and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will only support one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league.

The Chiefs appear not to have missed a beat and are favorites to win it all again this year and repeat as Super Bowl champions.

Tom Brady in Tampa Bay

Tom Brady will wear a different jersey for the first time in his career.

Quarterback Tom Brady rocked the football world when he decided to leave the New England Patriots and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent.

With the Buccaneers, Brady will likely have the most talented arsenal of weapons surrounding him on offense. All pro players Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two of the most talented receivers I’ve ever played with, and Rob Gronkowski has come out of retirement to join Brady.

While 43-year-old Brady has shown signs of decline in recent years, he is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time and could lead the Buccaneers to their first playoff win since the team won the Super Bowl in 2003.

Patriots without Brady

With Brady in Tampa Bay, the Patriots have hired quarterback Cam Newton to take his place.

This is a new era for the Patriots without Brady in the center. The team will show a completely different attack as Newton is a mobile quarterback.

While the Patriots have had a number of star players who have given up playing this season due to Covid-19 concerns, it’s hard to rule out coach Bill Belichick.

Can the NFL finish the season?

There were some doubts that the NFL would be able to kick off its season as planned due to the pandemic, but the league was able to get through retirement and start the season as planned on Thursday night.

66 NFL players have given up on virus problems. What it means for the 2020 season

While the league plans to run the season as scheduled, things could change rapidly with thousands of new coronavirus cases still reported in the United States.

For a full-contact sport like football – in which it’s virtually impossible to avoid being close to others, even under the strictest guidelines – it’s almost certain that more players will test positive for the coronavirus, experts say.
Face shields like the one worn by Chiefs manager Andy Reid on opening night could be a regular sight on the sidelines this season.
NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills admitted in an interview with NPR that the league is expected to have more cases of Covid-19 this season.

“We expect to have positive cases,” Sills said. “No matter how careful we try to be and how many protocols we have in place, we know this disease remains endemic in our societies and communities and is highly contagious.”

An outbreak could easily force the NFL to change its plans, and the league may have no choice but to close the season if a major outbreak occurs.

Jill Martin, David Close, Kevin Dotson, Leah Asmelash, and CNN’s Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.


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