Despite training camps being pushed back over the 2020 summer, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have finalized the last key financial issues related to this season, paving the way for an on-time start to the regular season on Thursday, September 10, kicking off 17 weeks of regular-season action and concluding with Super Bowl LV on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. The NFL was luckily one of the few sports leagues in the U.S. that did not have its regular season directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to cbssports.com, “both the New York Giants and New York Jets have announced a ban on fans at MetLife Stadium until 2021. This came immediately after New Jersey governor Phil Murphy set a statewide limit of 500 persons for any and all large events, including NFL games. In a joint statement issued by both the Giants and Jets, the two teams agreed with Murphy's decision, having been in communication regarding the verdict before it was handed down.” Some teams like the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots have announced plans to limit their stadium’s capacity to allow for fans.
New Orleans Saints' president Dennis Lauscha said on WWL Radio that team officials are paying attention not only to coronavirus data from the New Orleans metro area, but from the entire state, because 30% of fans who attend Saints games are from other regions. "We remain optimistic and committed to implementing responsible and safe measures for everyone that attends a Saints game," Lauscha said in a statement. "We are highly confident in our plans that safely welcome fans back into the building but are also reliant and dependent on seeing a marked improvement in our community wellness numbers.”
On August 17th, the Saints finally put-on the pads for training camp. The Saints return the dynamic duo of Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, who arguably make up one of the top offensive tackle tandems in the NFL. Heading into his fourth season, Ramczyk has been everything the Saints hoped when they drafted him in the first round of the 2017 draft. In 2019, Ryan started all 16 games, blocking for a unit that was tied third in the NFL in both points per game and fewest sacks surrendered. Armstead, who was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round as the 75th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, will be fueled and ready for the new season as well. Terron defends the “Super Bowl or bust” mentality the Saints must enter the season with, according to NFL.com’s Kevin Patra.
In an interview for WGNO.com, Ryan stated that “It seems like we have all the pieces here to go and win this thing. As far as preparing in the crazy off-season and stuff, I think that’s where more veteran teams will prevail this season. Guys who are focused on their craft, are responsible players and who can approach this game the way they always do and have that dedication.” Ramczyk also told told Saints reporters, "every year, you go into camp, and when those pads come on, it's a different tempo. It's full go." According to him, this is a new chance to "test yourself again, see where you are, or what you need to improve on. When you have the full pads is really the only time that you can truly evaluate yourself and see where you are and what you need to improve on."
Proper hydration is vital to performance when it comes to athletics. Ramczyk is a healthy, consistent, player who’s arguably the best right tackle in the league. Terron Armstead is a top-3 left tackle in the league. Athletes who develop a systematic method of ensuring they are consistently hydrated have better recovery and higher energy levels. Knowing that, both Ryan and Terron have partnered with Louisiana’s rising beverage company Hydra-Guard Sports Drink earlier this year. The company that counts stars such as Denver Nuggets’ Paul Millsap, Minnesota Vikings’ Alexander Mattison, Dallas Cowboys’ Cedrick Wilson as well as Saints' teammate Juwan Johnson among its top athletes, now also fuels the best offensive tackle duo in the NFL. “Hydration is a key component that allows the body to perform to its max potential. That’s why I chose Hydra-Guard to recover after my workouts,” says Ramczyk.
Ryan joined the Hydra-Guard team as a brand ambassador in July of 2020 right before heading into training camp to complement his current training and journey in the NFL. Here’s the reason he made the switch to proper hydration: “Hydra-Guard supplies my body with essential electrolytes and proper quality hydration, without the artificial ingredients or unnecessary sugars.”
As Hydra-Guard further expands its footprint in the sports drink industry, Armstead is also excited for the opportunity and looks forward to the future representing the brand and making the switch to choosing proper hydration. “I’m proud to partner with Hydra-Guard Sports Drink. Hydra-Guard has no artificial anything and low calories, helping me to recover properly after my workouts and continue a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard and its premium hydration are about to take over and I am proud to be a part of that,” says Terron.
“The season will undoubtedly present new and additional challenges, but we are committed to playing a safe and complete 2020 season, culminating with the Super Bowl,” says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Terron, Ryan and the New Orleans Saints will open the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 13 when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at 3:25 p.m. CT.