As NFL training camp closes in on a week from beginning, uncertainty remains rampant among the players community.
The NFL and NFLPA continue to be at odds with one another over protocols pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the NFLPA wants to stick with guidelines recommended by the Joint Committee of medical professionals formed by both entities, the NFL is planning on going forward with more accelerated plans.
On Sunday at 12:00 P.M. EST, several star NFL players took part in a coordinated social media response to the situation. Players such as Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt and Patrick Mahomes helped carry a unified message for the NFL to enact policies that work under the guidelines the committee deemed appropriate.
Sense a trend.... pic.twitter.com/KJQqo7nKSI— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 19, 2020
A coordinated posting blitz from some of the NFL’s top players calls on the NFL to provide answers and address health concerns. All have the hashtag #WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/BwQtxcnLOq— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 19, 2020
July 19, 2020
As Watt mentioned, the players have little leverage in terms of showing up for training camp whether or not the NFLPA comes to an agreement with the NFL. Players can still be fined if they don’t report on time.
As of Sunday afternoon, Infectious Disease Emergency Response (IDER) plans have been submitted by all 32 teams and are awaiting approval by the union.
All 32 teams have submitted infectious disease emergency response plans, which have been approved by NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills as well as joint infectious disease experts, per source. Union also must approve before teams can have more than 20 players in building.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 19, 2020
The NFLPA wants the preseason to be cancelled altogether and for the recommended 21-day acclimation period to be put into place. The NFL still wants two preseason games and a shorter acclimation period (14 days).
As with most things, a compromise has a greater chance to be achieved as the deadline becomes closer. July 28th is when all players are required to report for training camp, and that can be considered an unofficial deadline before we begin to see a real fallout between players and the league.