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Roger Goodell writes letter to NFL fans as training camps start across U.S.

With training camps beginning in earnest across the NFL this week, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed fans around the world with a letter published Monday.

After an offseason devoid of activity due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, football activities will soon resume across the NFL amid the most unusual circumstances in our nation's recent history. With an unprecedented environment will come football with an unprecedented appearance. Safety will be of utmost importance to everyone participating and overseeing operations across the league.

The game will go on, and Goodell is ready to get things going. One point he made sure to note: Much like the game itself, adjustments might be necessary.

"Adaptability and flexibility will be needed for the foreseeable future," Goodell wrote. "After all, even the best game plan changes as new challenges arise. This year's NFL Draft is a good example that embracing change can still deliver the fun and excitement we all crave.

"While this year will forever be defined by a heartbreaking global pandemic and a transformative social justice movement, I am reminded of the tenacious, resilient spirit of our country, the NFL community, and you, the greatest fans in the world. Thank you for your continued support."

The full letter from Goodell can be read below:

This week training camps across the country are starting and before we know it, the NFL season will be here. This is always the most optimistic time of year for our fans, and for all 32 teams. In a year that has been extraordinarily difficult for our country and the world, we hope the energy of this moment will provide some much-needed optimism.

In the months since the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, we have navigated the time carefully, thoughtfully and in partnership with the NFL Players Association with a shared goal of playing a healthy and complete 2020 season. This process has not been easy -- COVID-19 will continue to present a major challenge to nearly every area of American life. Football is no exception.

Every step of the way, our focus has been on the safety of players, coaches, personnel, fans and our communities. Our planning has followed the lead of medical experts and public health officials, including the CDC, the White House Task Force, governors and state health officials. As we have developed our 2020 playbook for the return of football, safety continues to be our first priority; that commitment will remain paramount as players return to the field.

The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years. Players and coaches will be tested for the virus regularly, including every day for a while. Preseason games have been canceled. Everyone in the team environment must follow rigorous health and safety protocols to keep themselves and each other safe. When there is a positive test, strict regulations will be enforced to isolate and care for that individual and to contain the virus before it spreads. Even the sideline will look different. And, state and local health guidelines will help determine whether fans will attend the games. These adjustments are necessary to reduce the risk for everyone involved.

Thanks to the collaboration of the players and a lot of hard work from our clubs, especially their medical and training staffs, our plans are in place for the 2020 season. Have a look inside the Rams training facility for some of these plans in action.

Adaptability and flexibility will be needed for the foreseeable future. After all, even the best game plan changes as new challenges arise. This year's NFL Draft is a good example that embracing change can still deliver the fun and excitement we all crave.

While this year will forever be defined by a heartbreaking global pandemic and a transformative social justice movement, I am reminded of the tenacious, resilient spirit of our country, the NFL community, and you, the greatest fans in the world. Thank you for your continued support.

Now let's play football,

Roger Goodell

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