When the Giants split up the responsibilities for lockout workouts, quarterback Eli Manning took responsibility for the offense, and defensive end Justin Tuck assumed responsibility for the defense.
Tuck later decided not to do it.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Tuck says that the defense won’t be practicing due to “safety” concerns. “I know how we are,” Tuck said. “We kind of have a tendency to get a little competitive when we start working out together. So we wouldn’t want anything stupid to happen. The best way to prevent that is to have nothing organized.”
Tuck’s right. Any serious injuries suffered during players-only workouts would constitute non-football injuries if/when the lockout ends. And if a player can’t play in 2011 because of an injury suffered during a lockout workout, his team can choose not to pay him.
Though some players have purchased disability insurance, it only goes so far. “Guys are worried if they get hurt right now until that lockout is lifted,” pro athlete insurance agent Rich “Big Daddy” Salgado of Coastal Advisors told the Newark Star-Ledger. “Something is better than nothing. I can’t replace a $40 million deal or a $20 million deal. The only thing I can do is give them a certain amount of insurance coverage that will make up for something if God forbid something were to happen and they don’t get a contract or their contract is voided.”
So why is it OK for the offense and not the defense to get together?
“With Eli and his receivers, I think it’s more important for them to be on the right page when they come to camp,” Tuck said. “For [the defense], I think it won’t take us as long to get in our groove.”
How long it takes remains to be seen. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told PFT Live on Monday that he needs three weeks to get his team ready. Commissioner Roger Goodell told PFT Live on Wednesday that the time required will increase the longer the lockout lasts.