Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While Trump expects football in September, California governor isn’t as optimistic

Apr 4, 2020 at 2:38 PM--

While President Donald Trump told sports league commissioners via a conference call on Saturday that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by the start of the NFL season, California's governor, Gavin Newsom, is less optimistic.

The NFL is approaching the offseason as if the regular season will begin on time, and plans to adjust as more information becomes available. The league is holding its annual draft from April 23-25, as planned, but it won't feature the typical fanfare that surrounds the massive event. While the draft will be televised, all of the festivities scheduled for Las Vegas, what was to be the host city, have been canceled.

Instead, the NFL will observe social distancing. Team war rooms will be replaced with cameras from remote locations, like the homes of general managers and coaches. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch has already provided fans a behind-the-scenes look at his home office.

"They want to get back. They've got to get back. ... We want to get back soon, very soon," Trump said via ESPN of the conversation with pro sports commissioners on Saturday. "We have to open our country again."

Meanwhile, Newsom isn't prepared to make predictions as bold as Trump's and is being more cautious with his outlook.

"I'm not anticipating that happening in this state," Newsom said via "We've all seen the headlines over the last couple days in Asia where they opening up certain businesses and now they're starting to roll back those openings because they're starting seeing some spread and there's a boomerang. One has to be very cautious here, one has to be careful not to overpromise."

Newsom also shared that one "well-known football player" inquired about whether or not the NFL season would begin on time.

"I would move very cautiously in that expectation," Newsom said. "Our decision on that basis here in the state of California will be determined by the facts, will be determined by the health experts, will be determined by our ability to meet this moment and bend the curve ... Right now I'm just focusing on the immediate, but that's not something I anticipate happening in the next few months."

The NFL typically releases its regular-season schedule around mid-April. That won't be the case this year. The league plans to reveal the complete schedule sometime in May, but even that isn't a certainty at this point. It's unknown if more will be known by then, and it seems more and more unlikely that the offseason schedule, which includes OTAs, minicamps, and training camp, will go on as planned.

H/t to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

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