The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers will be the first teams to open training camp this July in preparation for their preseason opener on August 6th. That is, of course, if there are training camps and preseason games to be had.
Steelers' defensive lineman Cam Heyward offered up his opinion on a Zoom call with the Pittsburgh media last week, and was brutally honest about his plans for the Hall of Fame game. Heyward spoke about his pessimism toward the game even happening, saying that it's “probably out” given concerns around the coronavirus.
“We talk so much about safety…why would we want to expose two teams to an extra game a week early? – Cam Heyward.
All of this comes just a short time after Ohio governor Mike DeWine told reporters that even if the game is played, there likely will not be any fans in attendance.
“As much as I hate to say this, because we've all been looking forward to that, and I know how much it means to the Canton area and the Stark County area and really across the country, it's a great, great event that we've been looking forward to…having a crowd that size is highly unlikely. Certainly, it could not occur today. It would be very dangerous to do it today.”
But while players and politicians are expressing their concerns over the chances of the game being played, the NFL itself seems to remain optimistic. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a statement which boils down to anything other than “we're looking at all options, but expect the NFL season to continue as planned.”
Of course we are all rooting for that to be the case, but Cam Heyward may be one of the first of many players to speak out against ramping up the season just a few weeks from now.