The NFL recently released the schedule for the 2020 season, with the caveat that things are flexible between now and Week 1 (and beyond) due to the uncertainty surrounding all activity in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the league currently plans to start the season on time, it's very likely that a coronavirus vaccine will not be ready by then. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that a vaccine would "more likely than not" be ready within a year or two.
With the preseason scheduled to begin in roughly three months, Jets QB Sam Darnold was asked Monday whether he was apprehensive about returning before a vaccine is available.
"I think whatever the guidelines are, whenever they determine that it's safe for us to go back to practice, be in the facilities and play games against our opponents, I think they're gonna do their due diligence there and make sure that we're safe coming back," Darnold said on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio. "As long as we're allowed to be in the facility and be practicing and be playing games, I'm not gonna be worried about it."
Darnold also weighed in on what the adjustment would be like if games were played without fans in attendance or with very few fans in attendance.
"It would be a little bit different, obviously, not having the fans there," he said. "They're part of what makes this sport. The fans are really what makes sports great in general. Just the atmosphere that they create in the stadium. Besides that, I think not having fans there. ... Just being able to hear my calls pretty loud and clear. It'll be different, to say the least. I think if that's the case, there might be a little adjustment period. But again, everyone's gonna have to adapt and get used to it."
As far as how he's staying in shape while socially-distancing, Darnold said he's been throwing "every now and then" with a friend of his who has been quarantining with him at his home in California.
"We've just been throwing a little bit every now and then," Darnold said. "I've been able to do some workouts, run around a little bit. I'm staying in shape. I'm doing everything that I can to make sure my arm is in shape and obviously not overdoing it -- as we would be in OTAs right now. And staying in contact with the coaches and making sure that I'm on the right program to be able to come back whenever I'm allowed to get back there and be fresh for whenever the season starts."