Steelers News

Eric Ebron ‘Mentally Preparing Myself Not To See My Family For 6 Months’

It is unfortunate that we live in such polarized times that the fears of others cannot even be acknowledged as genuine. Teachers around the country, for example, have begun getting their wills in order as governmental agencies attempt to force states into pushing for a full re-opening of schools, even as we continue to see 60-70,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, and deaths tick back up across the 1000-per-day threshold.

Articles written in which teachers discuss their concerns and their decision behind updating their will have been met with derision by those who believe that far too much is being made about the severity of the virus.

Meanwhile, death tolls are beginning to catch up with case totals, a predictable consequence of the fact that broader and earlier testing means that patients who will eventually die are on record for a longer period of time than they were in March and April, when primarily the most severe cases were being tested, and already while they were experiencing serious ailments.

Even those at the peak of physical fitness are concerned, such as NFL players. Take this recent Tweet by Pittsburgh Steelers tight end, who on Tuesday said that he is “mentally preparing myself not to see my family for 6 months”.

Players begin reporting to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Tuesday for initial Covid-19 testing. They will then be asked to self-quarantine for the next three days before they are tested again. For players like Ebron who are new to the team, they will likely not even be settled into the area, and will perhaps be living out of a hotel room instead.

While that is not uncommon, it is less common that they would not also be able to bring their families along, depending upon the circumstances. That doesn’t always happen—for example, if they don’t want to move their kids in the middle of a school year—but needless to say, the risk of infection raises concerns, and the need to self-quarantine to protect those you love.

“This is going to be the hardest season ever”, Ebron wrote, “IF we have a whole season”. The seventh-year tight end has not been afraid to express his skepticism throughout the process of negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA in recent weeks.

The Steelers signed the former first-round draft pick to a two-year, $12 million contract in March, which is tied for the second-largest per-year annual salary that they have given to any outside unrestricted free agent on his first contract.

He has repeatedly expressed his excitement to play in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger and for Mike Tomlin, and with former college teammate Ryan Switzer, both alumni of North Carolina. Here’s to hoping he has the chance to have the sort of season he envisioned for himself—and that he gets to safely return to be with his family on the other side.

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