NFL training camps are set to kick off in the coming week, with the earliest players reporting to camp starting Monday morning when the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans rookies will report. With less than 24 hours until the 2020 season gets rolling, the league has failed to so far institute recommended measures to protect players from COVID-19. Players do not have much information regarding testing and medical procedures for this season either.
J.J. Watt, the Texans defensive end who has become one of the faces of the league, laid out many of the players concerns on Twitter.
Once again in the interest of keeping everyone (players & fans) as informed as possible, here is an updated list of what we as players know and don’t know as the first group gets set to report to training camp tomorrow.#WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/xQcjs33zgM— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 19, 2020
Watt mentions the lack of testing guidelines, the lack of an opt-out clause for players who are either high risk or have high-risk loved ones and the lack of a comprehensive procedure for teams to abide by when a player tests positive.
The defensive end used the hashtag “#WeWantToPlay”, which became a social media rallying cry for many players around the league. Several players took to Twitter to ask questions of the league and ask for answers to the players’ many questions ahead of training camp.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson—another player that could be considered among the faces of the league—also voiced his concerns with the hashtag. Wilson’s wife, singer Ciara Wilson, is currently pregnant, making her a high risk.
I am concerned.— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) July 19, 2020
My wife is pregnant.@NFL Training camp is about to start..
And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety.
We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones. #WeWantToPlay
Other high profile players that spoke up include former Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay, reigning Super Bowl MVP and 2018 league MVP Patrick Mahomes, All-Pro San Francisco 49ers corner Richard Sherman and all-time passing leader Drew Brees.
The NFL has ignored the safety recommendations from the experts that THEY hired. We all love this game and want to go out and compete with our brothers. The NFL needs to provide a safe work environment for us to do that. #WeWantToPlay— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 19, 2020
We need Football! We need sports! We need hope! The NFL’s unwillingness to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. Get it done @NFL— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) July 19, 2020
Lions rookies are set to report on Tuesday, and the entire roster is set to report by July 29. Last week the league advised teams to operate as if training camps will be scheduled as anticipated this season.