Empty Stadiums/Roster Changes
Overrated: The idea that empty/nearly empty stadiums somehow puts the Lions at a disadvantage.
Detroit’s lack of success over the last 60+ years shows that they’ve been at a disadvantage in one way or another for a long time. This isn’t one of them, and I find it irritating to hear it suggested that playing games in front of no fans or at greatly reduced capacities will somehow affect the Lions more than anyone else. It won’t.
No home field advantage in the season opener versus Chicago? Okay. That gets made up the very next week when they’ll be playing at an empty Lambeau field. I get it, this season is going to be weird, but as far as the fan situation goes, it’s going to be various degrees of weird for everyone. I will concede though, it would be cruel for the Lions to finally earn a home playoff game, and have none of us able to go to it.
Underrated: Roster changes at a moment’s notice.
As the NFL moves along with this fragile season, a coronavirus outbreak has the potential to put star players, or possibly several members of a position group out of commission at the drop of a hat. Even in cases where the season isn’t suspended, either game postponements or rapid shifts in personnel are absolutely something to consider.
Could Matthew Stafford stay injury-free, but still be sidelined due to a positive test the day before a key game? Let’s say the Packers secondary all tests positive before week two; does that game get postponed, or would the Lions have a green light to run rampant on the shorthanded defense?
The NFL’s contingency plan for such scenarios is still vague, but as Major League Baseball’s return to action has illustrated, these things will certainly happen and could potentially hit teams in a way that throws the general competition out of balance for several weeks at a time. In a season with so few games to begin with, that would make a huge difference.