A unique and unpredictable NFL season begins Thursday night with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans in one of just six stadiums where fans will be allowed - albeit in reduced numbers.
"So much of the work this summer has been how to adjust to this new normal to all this robust and comprehensive protocols," said Hans Shroeder , Chief Operating Officer of NFL Media. "The great collaboration of the players association and the players to put all of this in place."
Shroeder said they've been working on a plan to make sure the season happens safely since March. He said one thing fans can look forward to on TV is a customized audio track at each game made up of sound from each team's fans during the past five years and a "celebration mirror" where players will see tweets and videos from their fans displayed on a screen in the end zone.
"We'll roll that out around Sunday Night Football this year which will allow the players to really engage with the fans directly after key moments and help celebrate and bring some of that energy to the broadcast and at home," he said. "It will definitely be different at times but hopefully the core exciting unique parts of what make the NFL so special will still shine through as brightly as ever."
This season, the NFL will feature live performances of "Lift Every Voice" before its season-opening games. The song, known by some as the "Black national anthem" is a way for the NFL to acknowledge the social justice movement.
"Sports have a long history of helping drive change," Shroeder said. "You can look at the '36 Olympics, you can look at Jackie Robinson, you can look at the '68 Olympics. The platform and profile sports have, the amazing athletes and people we have, they have the right to speak up and raise awareness where they think is appropriate and try to drive change where they think appropriate."