It has been widely assumed that, once a lockout commences, players will organize informal workouts in order to stay ready for football.
But here’s the problem, as pointed out today by Eric Winston of the Houston Texans. If a player suffers a serious injury while working out on his own, he can be placed on the non-football injury list once the lockout ends — and not paid a dime for the 2011 season.
Coupled with the fact that plenty of players won’t want to do anything to help the NFL field a watchable product absent a full slate of offseason workouts and minicamps and training camp, it looks like player-conducted practices could be the exception, not the rule.
That said, some teams could try to make it known to players on a wink-nod basis that any injuries suffered while working out on their own will be covered, and that players won’t be frozen out of their salary. Such an approach would provide players with a blank check for attempting to get paid after getting hurt by doing something other than working out.
The full segment with Eric Winston can be seen at the PFT Live home page.