Nearly 13 years ago, Korey Stringer died from the heat at Vikings training camp. Since then, the NFL and NFLPA have become more and more careful about exposing players to unsafe temperatures. (Highs, not lows. Yet.)
And so it’s a surprise, to say the least, to see that a pair of Bills players ended up in the hospital due to the heat.
Via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, tight end Chris Gragg and fullback Evan Rodriguez weren’t at practice on Wednesday due to heat-related illness. Both went to the hospital, and Gragg (as of Rodak’s last tweet) remains there.
It’s a problem most thought had been conclusively solved in the aftermath of Stringer’s passing. And while it’s not entirely out of the ordinary for a player here or there to experience health-related consequences to practicing in the heat, a pair of hospitalized NFL athletes becomes a red flag that both the league and the union should immediately explore.