Roger Goodell pens letter to NFL fans
With training camps across the league kicking off this week, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed NFL fans around the world with a letter published earlier this week.
Here is the full letter from Commissioner Goodell:
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,
Preparations are underway at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center and MetLife Stadium.
Saquon Barkley makes Top 100 Players of 2020
Saquon Barkley took the league by storm his rookie season. After being selected with the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, the Bronx native went on to play all 16 games and accumulated 2,028 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns. Barkley set the NFL record for receptions by a rookie running back with his 91 catches and the record for most 100+ yards from scrimmage games by a rookie with 12. He joined Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James as the only players to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage in their rookie season.
Barkley also set Giants franchise records for most rushing touchdowns in a season by a rookie, most rushing yards in a season by a rookie, and most total touchdowns in a season by a rookie.
The talented running back took home numerous honors that year, including the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award and the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year award, He was named to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie Team and the AP All-Rookie Team, and was also selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl.
Pro Football Focus recognized Barkley for his phenomenal rookie campaign. The analytics site listed the Giants' star back as one of the highest-graded rookie running backs of the decade with an overall grade of 85.2.
Take a look through Giants in the "Top 100 Players" over the years.
Despite missing three and a half games in 2019, Barkley still rushed for over 1,000 yards, becoming the first running back in team history to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark in each of his first two seasons. The 23-year-old has proven to be one of the most explosive runners in the NFL, in addition to being one of the most difficult players to take down. He has already registered nearly 3,500 yards from scrimmage and 23 total touchdowns in his first two seasons.
Barkley joined Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James as the only players to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage in their rookie season. His performance in his second season helped him join an even more exclusive group.
The Giants star back is one of only two players in NFL history to have accumulated at least 20 total touchdowns and 3,400 yards from scrimmage in under 625 touches throughout their first two seasons. The other member of this exclusive group is Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.
For the tenth consecutive year current NFL players have voted to determine the top 100 players in the NFL. The Top 100 Players of 2020 counts down the top players in the NFL as determined solely by the players themselves.
Although he missed three and a half games last season, Barkley was still recognized by his peers for his performance. The Giants' all-world back came in at No. 31 on the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2020 list.
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