NFL Players Association advises agents to warn players about COVID-19
Last Updated: 30/06/20 7:08am
The NFL Players Association wants to make sure its membership understands the risk associated with playing football this year.
The union emailed agents on Monday, telling them to alert their clients about issues that could arise when the NFL attempts to hold training camps and then the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"As we consider the possibility of beginning an NFL season in the midst of this COVID crisis, we want to ensure that your player-clients are provided with the most up-to-date information regarding COVID, including advice from the medical experts regarding some underlying medical conditions that may place certain individuals at increased risk of severe illness from COVID," they wrote.
"Every player needs to be aware of their individual medical status as they approach a return to work.
"To that end, the NFLPA is directing you to provide each of your clients with important risk-factor information provided by the Centers for Disease Control, and by mid-July, you must engage each of your clients in a conversation about the vital importance of carefully reviewing this information with their personal physician.
"They should ask their personal doctors any and all questions they have regarding these risk factors in light of their personal medical history and their job as an NFL player. They should also discuss any risk factors with their team doctor."
The memo was issued the same day that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke with USA Today about the problems the coronavirus pandemic could cause to the NFL's 2020 plans.
"If you wanted to create the perfect sport for the transmission of a virus, it would be football," Smith said. "So how do you deal with the fact that someone's going to test positive, that person is going to have had a tremendous amount of contact with other people on his team? And for the most part, everyone who tests positive will likely be asymptomatic.
"So our thinking, it seems to me, has to be focused on, 'how do you test regularly?'
"Hopefully the saliva test will come online fairly soon, we will be able to test more frequently, there will be a faster turnaround time."
Smith also said it is unclear what would occur in-season if two teams that were set to play each other both experienced COVID-19 breakouts.