Cardboard cutouts are back, and they are here to stay.
The City of Philadelphia announced new restrictions on Monday in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases, resulting in the loss of fans at Lincoln Financial Field…again.
The NFL gave football enthusiasts a glimmer of hope earlier this year when they announced that the league would be continuing with a 2020-21 season. Even better was the sense of normalcy that fans achieved when Philadelphia allowed fans back into the stadium on October 13.
Under these measures, 7,500 people could be in attendance, including players, coaches, staff, media, and fans. Season ticket holders who opted into the season were notified first. The remaining tickets went on sale to the general public; a maximum of six seats per pod could be purchased.
However, in just one month, that privilege has been revoked.
Beginning Friday, November 20, the new “Safer at Home” restrictions will go into effect through the end of 2020. These restrictions limit outdoor gatherings to ten percent of maximum capacity, or ten people per 1,000 square feet, not to exceed 2,000 people in any outdoor space.
The City of Philadelphia announced new outdoor restrictions on Monday due to the ongoing health crisis and the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the region. As a result, the Eagles will not be able to host fans at Lincoln Financial Field.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 16, 2020
The Philadelphia Eagles will now revert back to the original setup and prohibit all fans from Lincoln Financial Field. Season ticket holders were notified via email.
The Eagles’ three remaining home games are against the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, and the Washington Football Team. The Eagles face Washington on January 3; however, it seems very likely that an extension of these restrictions will be enforced.
WILL THE BIRDS BE AFFECTED?
When the 2020-21 season first began, many players across the NFL shared their concerns, stating that an empty stadium was “eerie.” For Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, it was “one of the strangest experiences.”
Last week, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman said, “Well, the biggest difference for us and for the players as well, more so for the players, is the fact that there’s really not many fans and in some states, there’s no fans whatsoever. You know, that’s a big adjustment. I think that it’s put a burden on these players, so to speak. They feed off of that energy from the crowd, so that’s been pretty unique.”
Some Eagles’ players also felt the same. Last month, Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata was excited for the arrival of fans. Fellow tackle Lane Johnson agreed, stating that the team thrives on fans’ energy and presence.
However, after such a rocky start for Philadelphia, it leaves some to wonder whether fan attendance really made much of a difference.
When the Eagles got word that the Linc would soon have spectators, their record sat at a sad 1-3-1.
Since then, the Eagles have hosted three home games, winning two of them against the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, and coming within two points to their loss against the Baltimore Ravens.
Their home record is 2-2-1, overall 3-5-1.
It’s difficult to say whether fan-made energy helped the Eagles, but one could argue that those three games were their best. They were also the games that highlighted Wentz’s progress throughout the first half of the season.
THE SEASON’S FUTURE
Joining the Eagles, the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and Washington Football Team will also prohibit fans from their next home game.
The Eagles have no other choice but to focus on their gameplay at this point. Maybe getting back to the basics isn’t necessarily a bad thing. No frills.
Tomorrow, the team will be without Vinny Curry, Corey Clement, John Hightower, Deontay Burnett, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. They have all been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list as close contacts with Arcega-Whiteside testing positive. The Eagles play at 1 pm.