The NFL was lucky enough to not be in the middle of a season when the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down professional sports leagues. Time was on the league's side, but that's now running out as training camps are set to begin this month.
There's still no indication if NFL teams will have fans in the stands this season. The cautious approach is to play in front of empty stadiums, but owners may do whatever it takes to avoid losing all that fan-driven revenue. The Miami Dolphins are one team that still wants fans in the stands even though the entire state of Florida has been hit hard by the virus in recent weeks.
The team has several scenarios for permitting fans in the stands without the stadium at full capacity. However, so many questions still remain on how to keep everyone safe once inside the venue. That's true in every NFL city, and especially in Florida where COVID-19 spikes have become the norm.
One idea is to have fans sign waivers. But how does that protect those they encounter once leaving the stadium? Having fans in the stands in one city and not in another could also raise questions of competitive advantages.
Packing thousands of people into a stadium during a pandemic doesn't seem like the best idea. States like Florida have already been hit hard and it would be irresponsible for the Dolphins to potentially help further the spread of the virus. The optimism to play in front of fans is there, but common sense must take over at some point.