As initially reported by NFL Media, Wisconsin cornerback Nick Nelson injured his knee during a private workout. PFT has learned that the team for which he was working out was the Lions.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the injury happened within the first five minutes of the workout.
It could have happened with any team; the fact that it was the Lions is immaterial. The bigger question is whether players should continue to agree to submit to private workouts.
At some point in every job-interview process, the hay has been stacked in the barn. That’s particularly important in situations like this, where the process of baling the hay entails a real physical risk for those under consideration for employment.
The situation also cries out for the NFL and NFLPA to work together to ensure that players who suffer injuries during the Scouting Combine, Pro Day workouts, and/or private workouts will receive proper compensation for their reduced earnings. While players can purchase insurance policies to protect against this type of risk, they shouldn’t have to.
And if they want to get the NFL’s attention on this issue, players should refuse to engage in any physical activities after finishing their college careers. If enough of the top prospects do it, the league will have no choice but to implement meaningful protections.