Four weeks from tomorrow, 13 teams will be traveling or preparing to travel to the site of games for the first Sunday of the regular season. It will be the first major test of the mobile aspects of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
With no preseason games this year, there will be no dry runs of any kind. When it starts, it starts. And the league has 28 days to refine, as needed, the rules and requirements aimed at avoiding an outbreak when away from home.
Three days after the Texans play in Kansas City on Thursday night, the following games will happen: Eagles at Washington; Dolphins at Patriots; Colts at Jaguars; Bears at Lions; Raiders at Panthers; Jets at Bills; Browns at Ravens; Seahawks at Falcons; Chargers at Bengals; Cardinals at 49ers; Buccaneers at Saints; and Cowboys at Rams.
Several trips arguably could be made by bus. Several clearly cannot. Some teams may consider same-day travel. The Steelers did that in 2012 when facing the Giants after Hurricane Sandy, given the inability to get a hotel in the New York/New Jersey area.
Coincidentally, the Steelers return to New Jersey for the first Monday night of the season. Since it’s a night game, same-day travel makes even more sense for Pittsburgh this time around.