Know how the NFL is going to handle the COVID pandemic during the season? You probably don’t.
Neither do the players.
Things seemed to get tense on a conference call between the league and NFLPA union, leaving very few answers to key questions. Players expressed their frustration on Twitter.
Bruce Irvin was as bluntly as possible.
Sat in on the NFLPA call for an hour. Well I can tell u this. We have absolutely ZERO answers! 😩🤦🏾♂️
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) July 10, 2020
And an agency tweeted out similar concerns, noting the league didn’t have much to say when players asked about the state of football.
Source: This NFLPA conference call providing extremely few answers. NFL has a lot of work to do with the players to prove they can provide a safe environment. “We don’t have 100% answers yet”. Time to fix myself a very stiff drink.
— DEC Management (@davidcanter) July 10, 2020
This comes on the heels of ownership’s proposal to put 35% of 2020 player salaries in escrow as a way to navigate around cap issues. That was promptly ridiculed and rejected by the player side of things.
It got to the point where at least two people floated if players should strike if the NFL doesn’t adequately address player concerns before the start of the season.
Two questions have been asked on the current NFLPA call around whether #NFL players should strike if they do not have all the CoVID answers before report dates as presently understood today, per source.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 10, 2020
Time is running out, too. Training camps are set to open in a little more than two weeks and the league hasn’t decided much so far. To their credit, they’ve determined protocol for when players/coaches test positive but we still don’t know how many preseason games will be played (if any), how many fans will be in stands (if any), exact in-season protocol for players and teams to follow, and if players will have the ability to opt out of the season if they aren’t comfortable assuming the risk (and the many questions that come along with it).
At least they’ve figured out what to do about jersey swaps.
As college football begins to reckon with their season, contracting or cancelling entirely, you have to wonder if the NFL’s next. The landscape is a little different; fewer players and better structure. But the NFL is going to need to make some difficult decisions. And fast.