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An look into the NFL 2021 playoffs

Yahoo Sports Senior NFL Reporter Charles Robinson joins Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith to discuss the end of the NFL’s regular season and to offer his thoughts on the start of the playoffs to come in 2021.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: The NFL wrapping up its regular season and getting ready for the playoffs. So here with more on this, we want to bring in Charles Robinson. He's a senior NFL reporter for Yahoo Sports. And, Charles, great to have you on the show.

Going back several months ago and to the start of the season, I think there were lots of questions out there about whether or not the NFL was going to be able to complete the 2020 season. So here we are heading into the playoffs. What's your assessment of how the league has navigated the pandemic?

CHARLES ROBINSON: Well, I mean, I would think that the league would have to consider it a resounding success. I think when the season started, the league said, can we pull off 17 weeks without a break? That was going to be the big question. They knew that there was going to be infection, COVID infection within teams. They knew that COVID protocols were going to be so restrictive that they would probably have to change and tweak them as they were violated or they saw teams struggle to adjust to them.

And the fact that we've reached week 17, albeit with an ongoing outbreak inside the Cleveland Browns-- the fact that the league learned how to augment the schedules, slide games around to keep teams on the field and make it this far really means a lot. And I think even the league was surprised to be able to announce this week that they're going to cross the 1 million fan [? attendant ?] mark this weekend, which is-- you know, this was a league that was looking at potentially no fans when the season kicked off. So even to get a million people in this year and feel like they did it safely, I think the league feels like it's a resounding win.

SEANA SMITH: And, Charles, we only have about a minute here, but what do we expect from the playoffs? because we're not going to see a bubble. There was some push from that-- from some people. But will they make this work?

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, I mean, I think they feel like they can make it work. You know, there were going to be enhanced protocols. You're going to have hometown bubbles. You know, teams are going to have essentially ramped-up protocols for the playoffs. So you'll see some teams, as the playoffs progress, they'll start to close ranks. I think there's potential as we get toward the Super Bowl, you may even see some teams decide to adjust and move some of their roster into the hotels just to sort of, you know, close down and mitigate any circumstances as the playoffs progress.

But the league feels like, look, they've got it in hand now. Everybody understands how to make this work moving forward, and everyone's on board.