ALLEN PARK – Matthew Stafford was seen in action once again on Thursday. But, this time, the quarterback took part in some private practice against the recommendation of the NFL Players Association amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tom Brady sparked the ire of many when he was spotted doing private practice earlier this week in Florida. While it’s a completely different situation, it shows that an inconsequential recommendation as the league is still preparing to open camp on time (July 28) is not a huge deterrent.
Stafford’s wife Kelly Stafford shared an Instagram post showing what appeared to be the quarterback working with a trio of fellow Lions at Jamal Agnew, Jesse James and Nick Bawden on Thursday.
“It just feels good to be sitting on a football field and watch,” wrote Kelly Stafford in the Instagram post. “I couldn’t imagine how it feels for these guys.”
Related: Report: NFL advises teams to open training camp on time and prepare for the start of the 2020 season
The quarterback previously spent time with catchers Danny Amendola and Kenny Golladay in California during the offseason. Stafford was also seen in May, working with running back D’Andre Swift, catcher Quintez Cephus and tight end Isaac Nauta in Georgia thanks to the state’s social distancing guidelines.
“Please note that it is our agreed medical opinion that, in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states, that no player should participate in private practice training,” said Dr. Thom Mayer, medical director. of the NFLPA. in a sentence. “Our goal is for all players and their families to be as healthy as possible in the coming months.”
The NFLPA recommendation specifically advises players to stop private sessions with each other until camp opens.
The Lions themselves don’t seem too concerned with the recommendation, as the team shared the previous video shortly after Kelly Stafford’s post began circulating on social media. All of this occurred immediately after the NFL, putting the finishing touches on a day filled with virtual homeowner meetings and conference calls.
Stafford previously said he has been making a conscious effort to stop licking his finger before throwing the ball. He also said that everyone who worked in California made sure to click the studs on each other, rather than the typical dap or high-five that came out of the field.
The NFL medical director Dr. Allen Sills reportedly received a fair amount of questions about it on Thursday, sided with the NFLPA recommendation. It’s worth noting that the recommendation is just that, as the league cannot legally prevent players from gathering and working.
“The players are going to share the same risk,” Sills said, “but also the same responsibility between them.”
It’s hard to blame players for wanting to get their job, as the NFL seems committed to sticking to its schedule. The league advised teams to prepare to open training camp on time, but left several questions about the preseason and regular season. The preseason Hall of Fame game and accompanying induction ceremony were postponed until 2021. The game between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers was scheduled for August 6 in Canton, Ohio.
This word from the meetings probably points to a shorter preseason as players catch up after months of unsupervised in person. Not to mention that the league would be wise to win as much time as possible due to the coronavirus uncertainty with the scheduled start of the regular season getting closer. The Lions are slated to begin the preseason Aug. 13 in New England, and the regular season Sept. 13 against the Bears at Ford Field.
“They told us we had to start the season tomorrow and fly to Detroit and put on the pills,” Stafford said last month. “I would be delighted and happy to do so. Any opportunity at any time for sure (and), I’m ready to go. ”
Related: Tom Brady leads Bucs training despite advice from NFLPA, Florida’s peak of coronavirus The | Sheila Ford Hamp of the Lions isn’t ready to talk about wins and losses, but expectations remain the same