Former Eagle Malcolm Jenkins is concerned that a trust-based system in the NFL this season will put players at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Jenkins was vocal about this on CNN, he’s likely not alone.
“We have to understand, football is a non-essential business and so we don’t need to do it,” Jenkins said. “So the risk, you know, has to be really eliminated before we — before I would feel comfortable with going back.”
JUST NOW: "Football is a nonessential business and so we don't need to do it. So the risk, you know, has to be really eliminated before we -- before I would feel comfortable with going back. "— John Berman (@JohnBerman) June 25, 2020
Saints @MalcolmJenkins concerned about a return to playpic.twitter.com/onBcvBo3qa
Earlier this month, the NFL sent a memo to teams with guidelines for allowing players to return to team facilities after many teams held virtual spring workouts.
One of the big problems the NFL is facing is the lack of a “bubble scenario” like the one the NBA will use to continue its season in Orlando, quarantining essential members of the league to play games. The NFL is not planning for a “bubble scenario” even though Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed some doubt last week about the prospect of an NFL season without a bubble.
The NBA is a lot different than the NFL because they can actually quarantine all of their players or whoever is going to participate. Where we have over 2,000 players, even more coaches and staff. We can’t do that,” Jenkins said.
“So we’ll end up kind of being on this trust system, the honor system, where we just have to hope that guys are social distancing. And that puts all of us at risk. Not only us as players and who’s in the building, but when you go home to your families. I have parents that I don’t want to get sick.
Now a New Orleans Saint, Jenkins is a contributor to CNN and has a platform on that network. Some of his former teammates like Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham have said they’ll trust the league when it comes to a return to play, but Jenkins is probably not alone with his concern.
Jenkins clarified his comments later on Thursday:
To be clear... pic.twitter.com/qNcn00aiBv— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) June 25, 2020
For now, the NFL is hoping for an on-time start to its 2020 schedule. That would mean a training camp starting in late July and the season beginning in early September.
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