Tom Brady’s unofficial Bucs practices lead to questions for the NFL

Tom Brady and some of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates continued to practice this week, undeterred by the new coronavirus pandemic and the NFL Players Association’s recommendation last weekend that players refrain from meeting. in groups to do their own workouts before the teams open next month. ” training camps

The NFL chimed in on the matter Thursday when league medical director Allen Sills was asked about practices that Brady and other Buccaneers players are organizing and carrying out at a Tampa-area high school.

“This is, again, a place where the NFLPA and the NFL are in the exact same place, which is what we want to make the safest environment possible for all of our constituents, be they players, coaches, coaches, medical personnel, anyone in that team environment, “Sills said. “So we are going to work very hard together to educate everyone about the steps that we collectively believe will be most effective in reducing risk for everyone.” Again, it’s about reducing risk to try to mitigate risk. We know that we cannot eliminate the risk. “

Sills did not mention Brady’s name when he spoke to reporters on a conference call after speaking to the owners of the NFL team during a video conference Thursday afternoon.

“We will work a lot hand in hand with the Players Association because, again, this is where everyone in that team’s environment will share the same risk,” Sills said. “But they will also share the same responsibility with each other, which means that everyone will depend on each other from the environment member of that team to do their best to implement these measures and keep themselves and their home members as safe as possible during the course of the season. “

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Brady referenced President Franklin D. Roosevelt and wrote, “The only thing we need to fear is fear itself.”

NFL teams have had no official practice on the field this offseason. Player teams’ offseason programs were conducted entirely remotely. Those programs should end on Friday. Most NFL teams are slated to perform at training camps on July 28.

It is common for Brady and other NFL quarterbacks to organize unofficial offseason training with their teammates. But this, of course, is an unlikely offseason.

“I think right now we and the Players Association are encouraging the players and the entire team staff, not just the players, but the coaches and everyone, to follow the best public health guidelines we have,” he said. Sills on Thursday. “Then we are in the same place there. Obviously, the club staff we have working on our club premises is covered by the club protocols we have there at the moment. So, for example, several coaches have returned to work on the premises. But there are no players there, other than those who continue to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation. “

Brady and his Buccaneers teammates aren’t the only NFL players doing volunteer practice on their own. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson posted a video this week working with a teammate, wide receiver DK Metcalf. But the center of attention naturally finds Brady, the six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback who left the New England Patriots this offseason. Some of Brady’s associates and supporters within the league feel that while the critics are such a public figure, the league and union should have issued highly specific mandates and guidelines if they wanted to prevent players from practicing together.

The NFLPA guidance was not binding. It was a notice issued Saturday through a written statement from Thom Mayer, the union’s medical director.

Brady was asked during his introductory conference call in March, right after signing with the Buccaneers, about adjusting to his new team and getting in tune with his new teammates in such special circumstances.

“I’m going to do my best to talk to the guys and try to get together and find ways to get together in different places and work on that,” said Brady. “Technology is an amazing thing, and we are going to use technology to the best of our ability to try to get to know each other. For me, they are ahead of me in what they need to know in terms of crime. So I really have to catch up on the things you already know and their terminology. “

The NFL is tracking the number of players and other staff who test positive for the virus through infection control staff recently established by the teams, Sills said Thursday, and shares that data with the NFLPA. The league has sent teams a comprehensive set of protocols for the eventual return of players to team facilities. The NFL and NFLPA are still working on the details of testing and treatment. The NFLPA told agents last week that it expects players to be evaluated about three times a week.