The NFL is in a bit of a better position than the other professional sports leagues in this country during the coronavirus pandemic: The league already completed its 2019-2020 season, and only its offseason programs and NFL Draft have truly been affected to date.
The league will be releasing its 2020-21 season schedule for each team on Thursday, and it's expected to be business as usual: a 17-week, 16-game schedule with bye weeks and all. However, it's hard to imagine the league actually starting on time in September.
Sacrifices might have to be made by teams, and one of the main ones is potentially playing without fans in the seats. It's a reality that Jets QB Sam Darnold understands very well.
During a conference call with the media on Tuesday, he touched on that exact subject and how it will impact the game.
"It's going to be different. Teams calling out certain plays at the line of scrimmage or defenses making certain checks and just being able to hear everything if that is the case. That's going to be the big adjustment everyone is going to make," Darnold explained. "There's just going to be adjustments everyone is going to have to make if we're going to play football."
Fan bases like to pride themselves on being extremely loud so that it is hard for the opposing offense to hear the quarterback's calls. Home field advantage truly comes into play in more areas than just hearing boos when the visiting squad makes a bad play.
But, as Darnold points out, this no-fan scenario would give teams full audio of defensive checks and quarterback audibles like it's a practice scrimmage, which is much different than regular gamedays.
Being a contact sport, football may very well have to be delayed and the NFL has reportedly been discussing contingencies like pushing back the Super Bowl and eliminating the Pro Bowl and bye weeks.
But, at the end of the day, Darnold knows that everyone just wants sports back -- no matter which one it is.
"Everyone just wants to see sports back in general. Everyone's itching to get back out there with training camp and everything," he said.
And if that means playing without the fans at MetLife Stadium on Sundays, then so be it. He'll certainly miss the sea of green and white, though.
"What makes it a great experience is the fans and really in every stadium," he said. "So it will be different in a bunch of different ways."