With COVID-19 cases spiking among NFL players, the union is asking all players to halt any private, team workouts held outside team facilities. Here is the statement from NFLPA Medical Director, Dr. Thom Mayer.
A message to players from NFLPA Medical Director, Dr. Thom Mayer: pic.twitter.com/4IGlEBhRr9
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) June 20, 2020
He writes: “it is our consensus opinion that in light of the increase in Covid-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts.”
For Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger got together with several teammates last month to throw NFL passes for the first time. Among the group were: Ryan Switzer, James Conner, and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) May 18, 2020
The Steelers’ defensive front seven have also recently spent time together. That group included: Bud Dupree, Cam Heyward, Tyson Alualu, Ola Adeniyi, and Daniel McCullers.
— Coach Brandon Jordan (@CoachBTJordan) June 9, 2020
Now, the union is asking players to stop those practices and workout by themselves until training camp. The Steelers will report to Heinz Field – not St. Vincent College for the first time in over 50 years – next month. Should the Hall of Fame Game remain, they’re likely reporting date is July 22nd. If it’s cancelled, it’s likely to be the 28th.
The NFL, and all sports, are trying to determine how to deal with the recent spikes in positive tests. Most players have been asymptomatic or had mild symptoms but the number and severity of cases will only increase once teams get together. College football has seen their numbers skyrocket as they began reporting to their facilities while the MLB has shutdown their facilities to clean them and test all players once they return.
As we wrote earlier today, teams and coaches are already professing skepticism if the season can be held as scheduled. Cam Heyward echoed similar thoughts in a recent interview with the media, noting his asthma that makes him a higher-risk person.