Tom Brady is not doing what he’s asked, but does the NFL care?

The NFL on Thursday held a virtual meeting with team owners to discuss its plans to start the 2020 season on time amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with training camps for now scheduled to begin July 28. The league and the NFLPA reportedly are working out the details of the health and safety protocols that will need to be in place.

But the NFL and the NFLPA already have agreed on their suggestion to players for the offseason: Stay away from each other. Yet without enforcement, it’s just that — a suggestion.

So when NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills was made available to media Thursday after the league’s meeting, the topic of Tom Brady’s self-publicized workouts was broached. The quarterback’s throwing sessions with his new Buccaneers teammates are unapologetically defiant in the face of the request to isolate.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport asked the question and referenced Brady’s latest photo on his Instagram story, which featured a slightly truncated version of the famous Franklin D. Roosevelt quote, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Some have suggested the message was meant to represent how Brady feels about the threat of the coronavirus.



(@tombrady/Instagram)

Tom Brady’s Instagram story
https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f2/9a/brady-instagram-062620_1c8b0tjaex69l1fl1bouitu12t.png”>

“This is, again, a place where the NFLPA and the NFL are in the same exact place, which is we want whatever makes the safest possible environment for all of our constituents, whether they be players, coaches, trainers, medical staff, anyone in that team environment,” Sills said (via the Washington Post). “So we’re going to work very hard together to educate everyone about the steps that we feel collectively are going to be most effective at reducing risk for everyone. Again, this is all about risk reduction to try to mitigate risk. We know that we can’t eliminate risk.

“We will work very much hand in hand with the Players Association because this, again, this is where everyone in that team environment is going to share the same risk. But they’ll also share the same responsibility to each other, which means that everyone is going to be dependent on each other member of that team environment for doing the very best that they can to implement these measures and to keep themselves and their household members as safe as possible throughout the course of the season.”

Added Sills: “I think right now that we and the Players Association are both encouraging players and all team personnel — not just players, but coaches and everyone — to follow the best public health guidelines that we have. So we’re in the same place there. Obviously the club personnel that we do have working at our club facilities are covered under the club protocols that we have in place there right now. So, for example, a number of coaches are back working in the facilities. But there are no players there, other than those who are continuing to receive medical treatment and rehab.”

That Sills did not mention Brady’s name in his response to a question about Brady is notable. It’s possible that Sills understands Brady is far from alone in his workout defiance, that many NFL players surely are gathering to work out and simply are not flaunting it the way Brady has.

Sills’ comment about players sharing a responsibility with each other is noteworthy, too, because it’s a concern Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins recently expressed when asked about the viability of the upcoming NFL season.

“The NBA’s a lot different than the NFL because they can actually quarantine all their players, or whoever’s going to participate,” Jenkins said on CNN, referring to basketball’s plan to resume its 2019-20 season with all games taking place in Orlando, Fla. “We have over 2,000 players, even more coaches and staff. We can’t do that. And so we end up being on this trust system, the honor system where we just have to hope that guys are social distancing and things like that.

“And that puts all of us at risk. Not only us as players and who’s in the building, but when you go home to your families. I have parents that I don’t want to get sick. I think until we get to the point where we have protocols in place, and until we get to the place as a country where we feel safe doing it, we have to understand that football is a nonessential business.”

The NFL to this point has not done much to alleviate the inevitable concerns associated with playing a season during a global pandemic, including its lack of policing players like Brady who are ignoring its suggestions.

“Positive tests are going to happen,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted earlier this month on ESPN. “The issue is, can we obviously prevent as many of those from happening, but in addition, treat them quickly, isolate them and prevent them from directly impacting our player personnel.”

Part of the plan, according to NFL Network, will be to test players for COVID-19 three times per week and isolate anybody who tests positive. NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer reportedly told player agents “there’s a 90 percent chance reliable saliva testing (will be) available before players return to facilities.”

Source: Read Full Article