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Players want no 11-on-11 activities during practice

Rodney Harrison believes it is too difficult to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the NFL due to the close and constant contact throughout practices and games.

When it’s time to play games in 2020, 11-on-11 scenarios will be unavoidable. The league’s players hope that 11-on-11 football will otherwise be avoided, entirely.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL Players Association wants to limit activities that increase the risk of coronavirus transmission during the 2020 season. This includes, but is not limited to, a request that there be no 11-on-11 activities during practice.

The union also wants limited practices and group activities in the days leading up to travel and games, with restrictions applying as of Thursday of a given week, in order to permit accurate testing and to limit transmission of the virus.

Basically, the players are willing to accept that certain risks are inherent to playing football games in a pandemic. The goal is to find ways to minimize the risks during practices, allowing players to be prepared without putting them in a position that involves close proximity and exposure to respiratory droplets, sweat, saliva, blood, etc.

It remains to be seen whether the league will agree. Coaches surely won’t be thrilled about the prospect of no 11-on-11 practice sessions.