When it comes to his comfort level going back to work, Eagles center Jason Kelce has complete faith in the NFL.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, NFL teams are not currently allowed to be together in their facilities, but if training camp happens in July, that would obviously need to change. And right now, NFL rosters have 90 players. That’s a lot of bodies in close proximity after months of social distancing because of this pandemic.
Kelce on a Zoom call Thursday afternoon said he has faith the NFL won’t let him and his teammates go back to work in an environment that isn’t safe.
I’ll feel comfortable no matter what the NFL decides to do, to be honest with you. I believe that at the end of the day, if the NFL is allowing 90 guys in the locker room, it’s going to be in a safe and controlled environment, in my opinion. I don’t think this is going to happen unless that is doable.
“So whether that is testing guys coming in the building as the testing procedures improve, whether that’s statistically new cases are so low at that point that there’s not a big threat of 90 guys going into the locker room. I think there’s a multiplicity of different factors and things that can shake out over the next few months, especially before the season.
“And I don’t think we’ll be back at work next to each other and I don’t think we’ll be back at work, playing and doing games and stuff like that unless the NFL is fully confident that it can be done in a safe manner. So I’ll feel comfortable the moment they give the green light.
In the meantime, the Eagles and other NFL teams have been participating in virtual OTAs, which include mental and physical aspects.
According to the agreement between the NFL and NFLPA, teams are permitted to give players workout gear up to a value of $1,500 for players who didn’t already have adequate gym equipment at their homes. Kelce said that equipment combined with their strength coaches is enough to keep their bodies in shape.
And then there’s the mental aspect of these virtual workouts. Kelce is entering his 10th NFL season and admitted this part doesn’t really help him as much as younger players.
The one thing Kelce said they will miss from OTAs are on-field techniques, but they’ll get that stuff in training camp. Kelce clearly doesn’t think missing OTAs will affect him as much as it does younger players who have never played in the NFL.
“But I still gotta keep up on my craft as well,” he said. “When all that resumes, we’ll see.”
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