NFLPA not happy with Tom Brady, Russell Wilson team practice: “Not the best for player safety”


The NFL is planning to play the 2020 season, despite a recent increase in COVID-19 cases. Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott and several members of the Houston Texans have tested positive for the coronavirus recently, but that hasn’t stopped other players from training together in public. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has participated in several trainings with his teammates, as has Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The NFL Players Association sent out a notice hoping that players will stop training together to stop the possible spread of COVID-19.

Even after sending the notice last weekend, Brady and other top Bucs players like Rob Gronkowski and Chris Godwin met at a local high school in Tampa for a practice session. While the NFLPA’s advice was not necessarily a mandate, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith recently told USA TODAY Sports that Brady and others could hurt the NFL’s chances of ending a full season in 2020.

“Those practices are not in the best interest of the safety of the players, they are not in the best interest of protecting our players who are heading to training camp and I don’t think they are in the best interest of us spending an entire season” . I certainly understand how competitive our players are and I understand that, but at the same time we are in the process of trying to negotiate, we have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if his result is positive during the season. Does that player go to the injured reserve? Are they going to GO anytime soon? If your virus test is positive after training camp, is it a work-related injury? Are you covered by workers compensation? What benefits are available to you if you have subsequent COVID-19 injuries? All the things players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts. We sent the guide because we believe it was in your best health and safety interest. Let’s say that for some of the players who have practiced, we have made sure that they have heard the message. ”

Smith makes a great point about why the NFLPA is against these trainings. While they obviously want their players to stay healthy, there are much bigger forces at work. The NFL and NFLPA are clearly still trying to sketch out details when it comes to this unprecedented season. What exactly will happen if a player tests positive during the season and when can he return to action? How long is the NFL at fault if a player experiences serious complications from the coronavirus? Both sides are still trying to negotiate through these assumptions, and it could derail their progress if more players test positive as we head to training ground.