The NFL is planning on the 2020 season being performed, regardless of a latest spike in COVID-19 instances. Dallas Cowboys star operating again Ezekiel Elliott and a number of other members of the Houston Texans have examined constructive for the coronavirus just lately, however that hasn’t stopped different gamers from figuring out in public collectively. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has taken half in a number of exercises with teammates, as has Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The NFL Players Association despatched out an advisory in hopes gamers would cease holding exercises collectively to halt the doable unfold of COVID-19.
Even after the advisory was despatched out final weekend, Brady and different vital Bucs gamers resembling Rob Gronkowski and Chris Godwin obtained collectively at a neighborhood highschool in Tampa to carry a follow session. While the NFLPA’s advisory was not essentially a mandate, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith just lately informed USA TODAY Sports that Brady and others might damage the NFL’s possibilities of ending a complete season in 2020.
“Those practices are not in the best interest of player safety, they aren’t in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp and I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season. I certainly understand how competitive our players are and I get that, but at the same time we are in the process of trying to negotiate — we have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if they test positive during the season. Does that player go on injured reserve? Do they go on short-term IR? If you test positive for the virus after training camp, is that a work related injury? Are you covered under workers comp? What benefits are available to you if you have downstream injuries from contracting COVID-19? All of the things that players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts. We sent out the guidance because we think that was in their best health and safety interest. Let’s just say that for some of the players who have practiced — we have made sure that they have heard the message.”
Smith makes a fantastic level about why the NFLPA is in opposition to these exercises. While they clearly need their gamers to remain wholesome, there are a lot bigger forces at work. The NFL and NFLPA are clearly nonetheless making an attempt to stipulate specifics in the case of this unprecedented season. What precisely will occur if a participant checks constructive throughout the season, and when can he return to motion? How a lot is the NFL at fault if a participant experiences extreme problems from the coronavirus? Both sides are nonetheless making an attempt to barter via these hypotheticals, and it will derail their progress if extra gamers check constructive as we head into coaching camp.