The NFL is still figuring out how it can safely play a football season and still mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 — which would require social distancing measures — but many are skeptical, and that includes several New England Patriots players.
At least five players on the Patriots have recently raised doubts about playing football amid a pandemic, echoing the concerns other players and coaches have raised: how do you play football and social distance?
Cornerback Jonathan Jones brought up this very point on Twitter Tuesday, “I don’t know who needs to hear this but you can’t social distance football..
Don’t’a Hightower replied, “ain’t no way,” while Patrick Chung added, “Not a damn shot. They are tripping.”
Defensive backs and brothers Jason and Devin McCourty also wrote a guest column for Sports Illustrated on Monday in which they revealed many players hold similar concerns about the season, including questions on whether or not they will be able to opt out and if they will make full salaries.
“As the days roll past in July, every NFL player is scrolling through Twitter, finding out news about the upcoming season, wondering if there will be a season,” they wrote. “So many questions with virturally no answers, all three weeks removed from a potential start to training camp.
“As fear continues to grow for our nation, it is also being spoken about among us players. Will we have an option to opt out of the season? Will we be making our full salary? What if there is a COVID outbreak within the league? It’s so hard to make a decision of whether we will play or not without knowing what the exact plan is.”
Many of these questions are currently being discussed between the NFL and NFLPA, but with training camp right around the corner, the clock is ticking on the two sides to find answers.