As it turns out, undrafted cornerback Kemah Siverand was the first rookie to make an impact this offseason. On Tuesday, the Seattle Seahawks waived the former Oklahoma State product, and Tom Pelissero reported on Thursday why they made that decision: he attempted to sneak a visitor into the team’s hotel during training camp.
According to Pelissero, he supplied a woman with Seahawks gear in an attempt to pass her off as a fellow player as he tried to sneak her into the building. The team has a number of players at the cornerback position, and he was not regarded as an overly notable player, so it was not a major risk for the team to do this.
The woman was wearing #Seahawks gear in an attempt to disguise her as a player, I’m told. It did not work.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 13, 2020
Nonetheless, it is an important message for players around the league to understand, that teams will take action against those who attempt to circumvent the Covid-19 protocols that are in place around the league in an attempt to safely conduct the 2020 season.
Players and everybody else who comes in contact with players are required to go through ha series of tests before they are even permitted to enter the team facilities, and then they are required to continue to take daily tests to monitor their exposure and ensure that they have not contracted the virus.
Teams can only go so far to control what players do while they are at work, however. While they are empowered to fine and suspend players for behavior away from the team facilities, and obviously can take action such as releasing a player, they ultimately can’t babysit adults and monitor their every move, so they have to trust that players are being smart and not exposing the roster to potential risk, which can jeopardize the season.
The sports world got a wakeup call thanks to the MLB, after two separate teams experienced unconnected Covid-19 outbreaks that encompassed more than half of the player roster and forced the postponement of games. The league commissioner ruled that if teams are unable to complete every scheduled game, they would have to use winning percentage to determine playoff seeding.
The NFL wants to avoid having to make any decisions of this nature. Now, the Seahawks obviously would not have cut a starter for doing this, but taking a stand here should at least send a message to other players that they are paying attention.
It is not unprecedented for players on the fringes of rosters to be waived for seemingly minor issues, though. As Nick Shook noted for the league’s website, the Los Angeles Rams waived a wide receiver during training camp in 2016 under similar circumstances, which was featured on Hard Knocks.