NFL teams have not been able to hold the standard offseason programs this year, leaving players to organize their own private group workouts.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was one such player as he organized workouts with a group of wide receivers and tight ends in May.
Those workouts are now probably a thing of the past after the NFLPA issued a recommendation on Saturday advising players to hold off on working out together due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
A message to players from NFLPA Medical Director, Dr. Thom Mayer: pic.twitter.com/4IGlEBhRr9— NFLPA (@NFLPA) June 20, 2020
The statement from Dr. Thom Mayer, the union’s medical director reads:
“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts. Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.
“We are working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season, and believe that it is in the best interest of all players that we advise against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences.”
Today’s news is not surprising given what has gone on recently. According to NFL.com, in the past few weeks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced individuals at their facility tested positive for COVID-19; a player on the San Francisco 49ers tested positive; a player on the Denver Broncos tested positive; and several players on the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys tested positive.
While the NFLPA can’t mandate that players avoid group workouts until training camp, if they hope to have an NFL season this fall, the players will follow the recommendation from Dr. Mayer.