J.J. Watt throws major flags at NFL’s unclear coronavirus plan

first_imgMORE: NFL players testing mouth shields as COVID-19 precautionIn a tweet sent out Thursday afternoon, Texans star J.J. Watt revealed that the NFL Players Association doesn’t know how the league will handle COVID-19 testing, training camp procedures or the preseason schedule. Watt said he has been on four NFLPA calls in the past two weeks, and it seems players are understandably concerned about the lack of clarity.In the interest of having everyone on the same page in terms of what we know and don’t know at this time, here are a few things I’ve learned being on four NFLPA calls in the last two weeks with hundreds of other players.Keep in mind our rookies are scheduled to report in 48 hrs pic.twitter.com/wAH1XyQenf— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 16, 2020From Watt’s tweet:— We want to play— We want to be as safe as possible— We have not received a single valid IDER plan (Infections Disease Emergency Response) from any team or the league— We don’t know if there are preseason games or not— We don’t know if there will be daily testing, semi-daily testing, etc.— We don’t know how a potential positive COVID test would would affect contracts, roster spots, etc.— Nothing has been agreed upon regarding what training camp will actually look like and how the “ramp up” period will work— We want to playSome details of the NFL’s health and safety protocols have already leaked. For example, the NFL does intend to place players who have tested positive for COVID-19 on IR for three weeks, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, and those players will be paid. It has been more than four months since professional sports leagues suspended play over coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns in the United States. The timing worked out better for the NFL than any other league given its 2019 season ended in February.However, plenty of questions remain about the 2020 campaign, and NFL players are still searching for answers. But, as Watt noted, there are major issues that have not yet been addressed, and Chiefs and Texans rookies are supposed to report for training camp Saturday. It won’t be long before the veterans join them.The NFL has essentially made it known that players need to report to camp on time as contracted employees – and that’s been a fairly constant message. For now, it appears headed in that direction unless the NFLPA decides to take a harder stance.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) July 16, 2020Players remain wary about how camp will look when it opens. One consideration being discussed: 7-week schedule that includes 3 weeks of 20 players at a time with cleanings in between… 2 weeks that will essentially look like OTAs… then two weeks of padded practices with hitting.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) July 16, 2020NFL owners are scheduled to have a call Friday, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, so perhaps that conversation will cover the important points players such as Watt have brought up.It’s more likely that these problems will persist beyond this week, though. Expect additional discussions between the NFL and NFLPA in the near future — and much more consternation.last_img

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