When Dallas linebacker Sean Lee was lost to a torn ACL in what was supposed to be a non-contact Organized Team Activity, it was noticed by a division rival.
Washington coach Jay Gruden used the Lee injury in stressing to his players that they need to be careful.
“The approach in OTAs has been pretty standardized by the NFL as far as the Collective Bargaining Agreement with no contact. But sometimes when you have 11-on-11 drills, people get tangled up and it’s unfortunate for Sean,” Gruden said, via the Washington Post. “We brought that up to our team again this morning about staying on your feet, doing the best you can to avoid any kind of drag downs, pull downs, contact. But every now and then you are going to have a collision, unfortunately, because it is football and guys are trying to show that they are doing right, but we are trying our best to police that and keep people up. It is something [where] we are definitely keeping an eye on them and making sure we preach every day about staying up.”
There was a time when old-school football coaches believed that contact practices were the only way to prepare their teams to play, but those times are long in the past. Coaches now recognize that keeping players healthy is the top priority in the offseason, and no coach wants to see what happened to Sean Lee happen to another player.