Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs and the rest of the NFL were stuck navigating the murky waters of the coronavirus pandemic while trying to stay healthy in a brutal sport that didn’t have any semblance of normalcy until late in the summer less than 2 months before kickoff.
The NFL managed to have a season in a bubble-less environment under health and safety protocols that tightened throughout the season and cost teams hundreds of thousands of dollars and draft picks after breaking some of the league’s mandates. ESPN reported Friday that more than $100 million was invested to build a highly touted “infection control system.”
The 2020 NFL season might be remembered for its limitations — limited fans in attendance, limited training camp and preseason activities and limited time to interact with family and friends.
Mahomes told ESPN that the rules “took a toll.”
“When I would usually hang out with the guys and hang out with different people, even hang out with my family, I had to kind of prevent that as much as possible and keep it very minimal,” the star Chiefs quarterback said. “It does take a toll on you. You’re used to being around people, enjoying stuff outside of football, enjoying stuff that’s not always grind and work every single day. So you have to kind of find different ways to do that.”
Additionally, there were limited interactions after the game. Players couldn’t go through their postgame jersey swaps, masks had to be worn in the locker rooms and postgame press conferences were conducted via Zoom.
Mahomes will now be playing for another Super Bowl ring come Feb. 7 with no NFL games canceled during the season and nearly 100 million tests taken.