Appearing on the Brian Mitchell Show on The Team 980 in Washington, D.C., NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent says the league is planning to run the upcoming 2020 season with full fans, but is also prepared to adapt.
"We are planning to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise," Vincent said Friday, via NBC Sports Washington. "Now remember when we're talking -- we're talking about August, September. So there's a lot that can happen here. So we're planning for full stadiums.
The NFL's offseason has been a series of adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic as they shifted to a virtual draft and offseason. While both have gone well, they haven't had the challenge of playing a game and that could provide a big challenge if the situation doesn't improve.
One big hurdle that the league will have to face is the degree of "Stay at Home" orders that have seen loosened restrictions, but also vary from state-to-state and even within states.
For example, Minnesota has not given the green light to large gatherings such as sporting events or concerts, and governors in California, Texas and New York have told leagues to prepare to return without fans.
"We also know that we have to plan for half [or three-quarters full] stadiums." Vincent said. "So we're planning for all of these different scenarios. But first and foremost, we're making every effort, working with the medical community, if we can have those stadiums with all people until they tell us otherwise when that time comes, that's our plan."
The Vikings season is slated to kick off Sept. 13 when they host the Green Bay Packers.