The uncertain nature of conducting an NFL season during a pandemic upends the best-laid plots of coaches who are already hyper-planners by nature.
With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt the country as training camps begin, NFL coaches are attempting to plan for as much as they can.
Giants first-year coach Joe Judge noted that those strategies include a next-man-up philosophy for both coaches and players when someone tests positive for COVID-19.
"We have succession plans for the coaching staff, if someone catches COVID, after we set the depth chart, we'll have a succession plan for each player," Judge said, via Matt Lombardo of N.J. Advanced Media. "Those are decisions we'll make at the end of training camp, and they might change as we go through the season."
The Giants are already dealing with changes after starting offensive tackle Nate Solder opted out of the season. Judge added that, at this time, he's not aware of any other players planning to sit out the season.
The NFL and NFLPA adopted procedures to protect players and staff as much as possible during the season, given the circumstances. However, the assumption is that there will be positive tests at some point. How teams adjust on the fly will separate the winners from losers.
"The healthiest team has an advantage," Judge said.
While that statement is true every NFL season, it takes on even more prominence during a pandemic.