Any football games played in Ohio will have to be played in empty stadiums under a new state order, although it’s possible the order could be lifted before the Bengals and Browns start their seasons.
The announcement from the Ohio Department of Health prohibits all spectators from attending contact sporting events. That will include NFL games, Ohio State and other college football games, and high school football games.
But it’s unclear how soon the order will be lifted, as the state may ease some restrictions if the COVID-19 situation improves. So it’s still possible that the Browns and Bengals could have fans in the season.
For now, however, it’s another reminder that NFL teams are beholden to a virus that America remains unable to defeat.