The NFL is making plans to play through the pandemic this fall, and that will mean big changes for the games.  Some of the players may be wearing masks on the sideline.

ESPN reported last week that the NFL is planning to ban jersey exchanges after games this season.  It's not something that impacts the game, but players still had big reactions about it. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman pointed out on social media that players will "engage in a full-contact game" only to find that it isn't safe to exchange jerseys. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson tweeted that it was silly.  But the NFL Players Association ultimately signed off on the new policy that was distributed to teams last week.

What else can we expect? A few of the highlights include:

• Coaches and players who probably won't get into the game will be "strongly encouraged" but not required to wear masks on the sideline. Assistant coaches and others who have field access ( like broadcasters) will have to wear masks. 

• Players and coaches will go through several temperature checks before games and won't be allowed to play or coach if they have a fever of more than 100.4 degrees.

• Arrangements must be made to ensure that there are no shared water cups or bottles on the sideline.

• Players are required to spend the night before games at the team hotel, even if they are playing in their home stadium.

Will there be fans at the games?  A few.  The details are still being worked out for most teams, but the Baltimore Ravens for one, have announced they're reducing the capacity of their stadium to around 14,000 people. And fans will likely have to wear face coverings.

So now, in addition to knowing how many tackles or touchdowns a player had, we'll know that his temperature is somewhere under 100.4.

This is still gonna be fun, right?  Team training camps will be fully open by July 28th.  Go Cowboys, Texans, and Patrick Mahomes.

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