With the NFL locking down team facilities because of the coronavirus outbreak, players are forced to work out on their own during the offseason.
And that’s fine for most of them. Until one of them gets hurt.
As noted by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews won’t perform Tommy John surgeries (or any others) at his office in Florida, after an order from Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Mar. 20 banning non-emergency surgeries.
“We are not performing any non-urgent or non-emergent procedures, including Tommy John surgery, in compliance with the governor’s executive order,” a spokesperson for the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine wrote. ”We are adhering to these restrictions and all such cases are suspended at this time.”
Andrews is one of the best-known surgeons in his field, and is Washington’s longtime team doctor.
While there are other surgeons performing Tommy John surgeries on baseball pitchers at the moment, things could get complicated in a hurry for football players who are forced to work out on their own. Prior to COVID-19 becoming part of the national lexicon, some teams would have opened their offseason programs next week.
That’s forced teams to prepare virtual offseason programs, though players options are limited because most gyms are closed as well.
Some of the players will inevitably end up doing unusual workouts (top draft prospect Mekhi Becton is out here pushing trucks with the brakes on), though the chance of injury exists at any time. If a player hurts himself to the extent he needs surgery, it could be a problem at a time when medical facilities have more pressing concerns.