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NFLPA to NFL: Tell us why four preseason games is problematic, but two isn’t

Mike Florio emphasizes the importance of reliable COVID-19 testing heading into the 2020 NFL season and how the players also have a responsibility to follow health protocols to avoid positive results.

On a conference call between the NFLPA and team reps last week, there was a vote that led to a recommendation that the league scrap the preseason entirely but NFLPA senior director of player affairs Don Davis said the union isn’t wholly opposed to having any preseason action.

During an appearance on WEEI Wednesday, Davis said that a joint committee on returning to work was put in place by the league and union. That committee recommended a training camp schedule that built in a lot of acclimation time for players over a six-week period before they would play any games.

Given the late July start date for camp, that would make it impossible to run a full preseason schedule and the NFL has moved to cut the slate down to two games per team. That’s still a change from the committee’s recommendation and Davis said the question the union has for the league is why two games is safer than four.

“When you go at a 10,000-square-foot level and you just look at what reason would say, then what you’re saying is, ‘Four preseason games are not in the best health and safety of players based on COVID, but guess what? Good news, two are totally fine,’” Davis said. “That’s a tough position to take, right? The position of the PA isn’t, ‘Have no preseason games.’ That’s not the narrative at all. I know that’s out there. The position is, ‘Can you tell us how playing four is problematic, but playing two is OK?’”

NFLPA president and Browns center JC Tretter said recently that every answer about returning to play creates more questions and it doesn’t feel like the two sides have gotten to a place where they have more answers than questions about what comes next.