The NFL is still operating as if the 2020 season will go on as scheduled.
But players are skeptical -- and that might be an understatement.
New England Patriots defensive backs and twin brother Devin and Jason McCourty wrote a guest column Monday for Sports Illustrated's "The MMQB" expressing safety concerns about playing football amid a global pandemic.
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On Tuesday, their teammates chimed in on Twitter to address the elephant in the room about football in the era of COVID-19.
I don’t know who needs to hear this but you can’t social distance football...— J Jones (@Jonathan_Jones2) July 14, 2020
Ain’t no way— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) July 14, 2020
Not a damn shot. They are trippin https://t.co/QJ3MffN1iC— Patrick Chung (@PatrickChung23) July 14, 2020
That's Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones, linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung, who apparently believes the NFL is "trippin'" about the 2020 season going off without a hitch.
This trio has a point: Football is built on contact, with players hitting each other on literally every play and lineman spending entire games face-to-face in the trenches. (Six feet between the offensive and defensive lines? Try six inches.)
The NFL is attempting to implement some on-field safety measures -- the league unveiled a new helmet with a face shield and is banning postgame jersey swaps -- but many players clearly think those attempts are futile.
NFL training camps (supposedly) begin in about two weeks, so we'll find out very soon if players' concerns are realized.