Chicago Bears: Coronavirus could lead to NFL Draft changes

Chicago Bears (Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images) /

The NFL is closely monitoring the coronavirus as league scheduling events draw near. The next big event that is open to the public that may change is the NFL Draft at the end of April.

Do not take this as an attempt to scare you into purchasing more toilet paper. This will strictly be a sharing of reports without much opinion. If you are concerned in any way about the coronavirus, make sure to contact the CDC hotline. Remember, that number should be used in emergency type situations as I am sure they are flooded with phone calls right now. Now with the hysteria hopefully calmer, let us discuss how the coronavirus may affect the Chicago Bears and NFL.

First, the next public NFL event that would likely see many fans in attendance is the NFL Draft. The draft is scheduled for April 23rd through April 25th. As of right now, the NFL has yet to make any changes to their upcoming schedule. This does not mean that things could change quickly. The league will be monitoring the situation closely and will make changes as needed.

One of the ways things could change is how and where the NFL Draft will be held. Right now the draft is scheduled to be open to the public and held in Las Vegas, Nevada. In light of the NBA suspending the rest of the season until further notice, seeing drastic changes by the NFL in comparison would not be shocking. One potential solution would be to hold the draft without any fans. This is how things were done less than 20 years ago anyway.

If things progressively worsen, the next likely step would be having teams video conference their selections. The draft could still be televised and cameras could cut to teams inside local draft rooms. Nothing has been said yet, but if events worsened and these steps were taken, I would not be surprised if the Chicago Bears Miller Lite draft party is canceled.

For Chicago Bears fans, one area of concern is if the team decides to pull scouts out of the field. Pro Football Talk reported that some scouts may be pulled from the road. Many teams are discussing this as a real possibility. The pre-draft process includes the NFL Combine, which was already finished in February, individual workouts and Pro Days.

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With no first-round pick and two second-rounders, Ryan Pace must hit on his early picks. This could be more difficult without the team’s scouts being allowed to view and react to each players’ individual workouts or Pro Days. Let us hope that this is the only event to possibly change. With other professional sports organizations making drastic moves, no one should be surprised if the NFL takes additional precautionary changes.