NFL players publicly plead with the league to address various health and safety concerns on the eve of the training camp.
The league informed the teams on Saturday that training camps will open on time, even though there are discussions with the players’ union about testing for the corona virus and other health and safety protocols.
Rookies for Houston and Kansas City will report on Monday and rookies for other teams will appear on Tuesday. Players for all teams must register by July 28 at the latest.
Many prominent players expressed their thoughts in a social media blitz today.
“We need football! We need sports! We need hope! Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrote on Twitter. The NFL’s reluctance to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t help keep players healthy, there will be no football in 2020. It’s that easy. Do the NFL. ‘
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he was concerned that his wife Ciara is pregnant.
He wrote: “My wife is pregnant. The NFL training camp is about to begin … And there is still no clear plan for the health and safety of players. ???? We want to play football, but we also want to protect our loved ones. #WeWantToPlay. ‘
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and President JC Tretter discussed the union’s concerns in a 90-minute video conference with reporters on Friday.
They want players to be tested for the virus daily. A joint committee of doctors, trainers, and strength trainers formed by the NFL and NFLPA recommended testing the day.
Other unresolved issues are the number of preseason games. The league plans to shorten the practice schedule from four games to two, while the league doesn’t want one.
Players also wanted a 45-day acclimatization period to avoid injuries. The union asked them to report early, but the union refused. Questions remain about protection for players who want to opt out of playing.
All 32 teams have sent the union their Infectious Disease Emergency Response, which has been approved by infectious disease experts and NFL medical chief Dr. Allen Sills, according to a person familiar with the details. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the protocols have not yet been finalized, said the union has approved several and continues to review them.
On Friday, the league sent players and teams an education protocol for the camp, in which clubs are required to disseminate joint educational material and hold educational sessions for players, staff and family members.
Tretter, a center for the Browns, wrote, “What you see today is that our boys stand up for each other and for the work their union leaders have done to keep everyone as safe as possible. The NFL should listen to our union and adopt the recommendations of the experts #wewanttoplay. “
Under the CAO, the NFL has the right to impose reporting data and teams can impose fines on players who do not report.
The NFLPA could file a complaint claiming that the league does not provide a safe working environment under the employment contract.