Not only will the COVID pandemic impact NFL players when they’re at work, it has potential off-field impacts too. According to a Pro Football Talk report, players will be prohibited from “risky” lifestyles. Basically anything related to being around larger groups of people where the chance of contracting the virus is higher.
Per PFT’s report:
“Per multiple sources, the deal specifically prohibits players from engaging in certain behaviors this season. Players cannot attend indoor night clubs, indoor bars (except to pickup food), indoor house parties (with 15 or more people), indoor concerts, professional sporting events, or indoor church services that allow attendance above 25 percent of capacity.”
As PFT goes on to say, it’s unknown how teams will enforce this rule. Players found to violate it will be subject to find and should they test positive for the virus after attending such a gathering, may not be eligible to be paid while absent from the team.
These are heavy restrictions for players and it’s hard to believe all players will comply over an entire season. NBA guard Lou Williams was spotted at an Atlanta strip club over the weekend and will be forced to quarantine for the next ten days before re-entering the Orlando bubble. He was outed when his friend posted a photo of the two on social media.
Since the NFL isn’t following the NBA or NHL model of a “bubble,” one location where all players are housed, they have the risk of players bringing in the virus from their day-to-day lives. These rules are well-intentioned but certainly restrictive and just another reason why 2020 will be a year unlike any other.