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Seahawks' Russell Wilson: Games will be like practice, defense will hear plays

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said  NFL games will be similar to practices during the 2020 NFL season due to limited or no crowds allowed at stadiums amid the coronavirus pandemic. File Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said  NFL games will be similar to practices during the 2020 NFL season due to limited or no crowds allowed at stadiums amid the coronavirus pandemic. File Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo

July 21 (UPI) -- Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson says there will be a learning curve when the NFL returns for games amid COVID-19, as the defense will be able to hear offensive play calls without the noise from fans in the stands.

Several NFL teams have ruled out the prospect of allowing fans in their stadiums for the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, while others have planned for limited attendance. NFL players are scheduled to report to training camp July 28.

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Seattle's CenturyLink Field has been a major advantage for the Seahawks for years against road teams due to its loud crowds. The noise often hampers the ability for their opponents' coaches and players to communicate play calls. No crowd noise will allow defensive and offensive players to hear each other when they strategize before each snap.

"I know some teams are doing no fans. We are doing a small amount, I believe," Wilson said Monday on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "It's going to be interesting being under center and calling plays when they can hear everything and there is no real effect [from the crowd].

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"There will be some interesting learning there. It becomes like practice in a way. At the end of the day, we want to play, score touchdowns and make plays."

Team owners and the players' union are still in talks about how to return to facilities and what safety procedures will be in place to ensure safety. Wilson said he has practiced daily with a new mouth shield helmet that the league developed with Oakley to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

The Seahawks quarterback on Sunday was one several NFL stars to tweet about the need for a "clear plan on player health and family safety." Wilson also mentioned his pregnant wife, Ciara, in the Twitter message.

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He said he doesn't know if he will be able to go into the hospital when Ciara gives birth. He also said he will try to balance taking care of his children while he plays football.

"We can't take this time for granted in terms of health and safety," Wilson said. "It's really important we do it the right way at the highest level. That's what the concern is, specifically for families.

"[Ciara] is pregnant and we are going to have a new baby in the world soon. At the end of the day we want to play. The Seahawks want to go to the Super Bowl and win it all, but we want to do it in a safe way."

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Wilson also commented on Patrick Mahomes' record-breaking contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes became the highest-paid player in NFL history this off-season when he signed the 10-year, $503 million pact. Wilson previously was the league's highest-paid player.

"I'm actually celebrating Mahomes that is making this much money," Wilson said. "It's a good thing. Sounds like the money is going up. Stock is rising."

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