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Could the Broncos be playing in an empty stadium this season?

Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright discussed some potential scenarios as the NFL tries to move forward with the 2020 season as planned despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The NFL Draft is on.

The NFL season is still on.

Even the NFL games overseas are still on.

At least for now.

On Broncos Country Tonight, Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright discussed this new world order for the Broncos and NFL, expressing the feeling many of us have right now that hosting some football helps achieve a little bit of normalcy...because you can only watch so many episodes of “Tiger King” before going completely crazy or attempting to give yourself a mullet.

But there’s definitely a question on how this moves forward. How will OTAs work? Should training camp be later? Will preseason be fewer games? Should there be a season?

“What is most important is health and safety first - and getting these games played and on TV,” Edwards added, noting that home games are moneymakers for owners, but only a fraction of the fans are actually watching at the stadium. Most enjoy it from home anyway.

“We’re learning what a world without sports is like, and almost everybody wishes there was something to watch on the weekends,” Edwards added.

Edwards and Allbright discussed the issue of teams playing in empty stadiums and even having players get tested a few hours before heading to the stadium to make sure everyone is healthy.

While playing in an empty stadium wouldn’t be much fun, it might be better than nothing.

Which allowed this solid burn from Allbright:

“It may be a funky soft open and some things we’re not used to - unless you’re a Chargers fan and no one is in the stands anyway - but in the end they are putting together a plan to play this.”

And that means John Elway and Vic Fangio are moving forward, ready to kick off the 2020 season however it plays out.

Fangio noted on Tuesday that the idea that the biggest aspect for drafting players is evaluating their film is going to get tested.

“I think every year you hear people say—scouts and coaches and personnel people—that 90 percent of the evaluation is off the tape. The other 10 percent is the Combine and Pro Days and all the other stuff that goes on with it,” Fangio said. “This is the year it will really be tested. It will be 90 percent what you see on tape, and we’ll go from there.”

Fangio acknowledged that while teams don’t have the workouts to evaluate guys, sometimes that information “just clouds the issue.”

“It’s nice to know what a guy runs a 40 in, but how fast does he look on tape is more important,” Fangio said. “A lot of times you can guess how fast a guy runs generally speaking. It’s more important what the tape is. That’s what everybody says. This will be the year that it’s really put to the test.”

For Elway, the issue is more about logistics for handling the draft. Can all the people who usually work on this in one room manage it from different places?

“I think that’s one thing that we don’t know exactly what’s in front of us so we will prepare for all different situations - especially if we can’t get back into our complex - and make sure we have enough bandwidth,” he said. “Depending on how many people we can have around each other with the social distancing, all those things we will start preparing for now.”

Of course the first order of business will be figuring out who to pick at 15 - or if changing spots is worthwhile.

Given the needs on the team, Fangio isn’t too worried that there will be a “best player” of “need” for the Broncos.

“Picking 15th, you’re not quite sure how the first 14 picks will go until then,” the coach said. “We still have enough needs on both sides of the ball that I think the best player will still be the philosophy used for the most part. ...We’d like to add players in a lot of different areas to make us better.”


Would it matter to you if the Broncos played games in an empty stadium?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    No. Just play some football.
    (629 votes)
  • 26%
    Yes. The atmosphere is half the fun of playing the game.
    (285 votes)
  • 15%
    How ‘bout we play without refs too???
    (170 votes)
1084 votes total Vote Now