Player workouts don’t mesh with stay at home orders, social distancing guidelines


NFL teams will have little or no offseason workouts in 2020. Which means that players will be working out on their own. Which means that some players won’t be content to, for example, grind away at a home gym.

Players will want to get onto a football field, and they will want to work out with new or existing teammates.

It happened on Wednesday in Florida, possibly after Governor Ron DeSantis (finally) imposed a stay at home order effective as of Thursday. There were Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Ravens receiver Hollywood Brown, and free-agent receiver Antonio Brown, running routes and catching passes and otherwise ignoring critical social-distancing guidelines aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus to those whom it could make extremely ill or kill.

And there were Jackson and Hollywood and Antonio, in a photo posted on Hollywood’s Twitter account, which shows the trio far closer together than they should be.

Get ready for more of this. Players like Tom Brady will want to work out on a football field with new teammates like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate, and/or O.J. Howard. And once word gets out that players from one team is doing it, players from other teams will be doing it.

The NFL officially discourages such activities.

“Everyone associated with the NFL should follow the recommendations of medical experts and state and local authorities,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email on Wednesday. “We also strongly urge players to consider the advice of NFL and NFLPA medical personnel.”

Can the NFL do anything to players who violate these mandates on their own time?  Consider the plain language of the Personal Conduct Policy, which prohibits among other things “[c]onduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person; and . . . [c]onduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel.”

Players who ignore stay at home orders and who disregard federal social distancing guidelines not only endanger others by potentially spreading the virus but also undermine the integrity of the league and its teams by blatantly defying applicable mandates to remain at home and to remain at least six feet away from others.

Players who violate stay at home mandates and ignore social distancing guidelines send a dangerous message to the public. If Lamar Jackson, the league’s reigning MVP, can go out and pass football and pose for pictures in close proximity with others regardless of clear requirements to the contrary, why can’t the thousands of kids who idolize Lamar do the same thing?

It’s an issue that the league needs to take seriously, because too many people still aren’t taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously enough. And folks in the media should be willing to chastise anyone in and around the NFL whose failure to take the situation seriously may influence others to continue to not take the situation seriously enough.

31 responses to “Player workouts don’t mesh with stay at home orders, social distancing guidelines

  1. Hey, players of any sport are no better than anyone else in this country. Working out together is directly opposite what is advised. Sweating all over, passing the ball back and forth to each other with sweat on it, breathing all over each other? Is that smart? Don’t think so. Get on course with the rest of the world and set an example of what to do, instead of what not to do. Idiots.

  2. lol what a bunch of me-first dopes. people like this are the reason there won’t be a football season this year.

  3. If people can go to a golf course, they sure as hell can get together to throw a football. And I am sure there are thousands of youngsters hanging on every word and action of Lamar Jackson.

  4. But I’m a NFL player and essential to your entertainment! SMH…ALOT of folks JUST don’t get it. I have NO PROBLEM with the NFL fining BOTH NFL players…AND the police giving that EX NFL player a hefty fine.

  5. Agreed. This is stupid activity. But thanks to the “social distancing” regulations against player/club contact in the off season written into the CBA courtesy of the NFLPA, I believe teams just can’t contact players directly to stop this activity. But I’m sure the Ravens have already reached out To the respective agents who will get the message to Lamar and Hollywood loud and clear.

    And as far as the social media buzz. of “A.B. to the Ravens,’ ain’t gonna happen. A.B. simply has too much off the field baggage tat remains unresolved for any team, let alone a careful organization like the Ravens, to take a chance on. First, as soon as he signs he goes on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Second, he can’t play but he gets paid. The Ravens are tight against the cap and they will not pay a player who is prohibited from playing. Third, the unresolved legal issues that are draped around Brown like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Ain’t gonna happen.

  6. Because we all know that the NFL has the most integrity of any professional organization …

  7. This is a social distancing issue? I’m pretty sure that pass catchers can run routes 6′ away from other offensive players.

  8. Under Florida’s “stay at home” orders, you ARE allowed to exercise outdoors.

    And if Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown and Antonio Brown live together (THEY ARE COUSINS), they can exercise together. Just like I take my son jogging, it’s in compliance with social distancing guidelines.


  9. Lamar is turning into Distraction Jackson. Ravens fans praying he doesn’t turn into lawful citizens like the Lewis trio (Ray,Jamal,and Jermaine), or Ray Rice. AB-84 virus could be worse than Covid-19!

  10. cueghost says:
    April 2, 2020 at 11:51 am
    Who exactly are they putting at risk again with this outrageous behavior?


  11. The “NFL needs to play in one Stadium” idea doesn’t mesh with the stay at home policy either.

  12. nathanp2013 says:
    This is a social distancing issue? I’m pretty sure that pass catchers can run routes 6′ away from other offensive players.


    Sure, just don’t actually catch a ball, throw a ball, touch a ball and take idiot group hang pic… Not the smartest bunch..

  13. darrenkod says:
    April 2, 2020 at 1:18 pm
    Under Florida’s “stay at home” orders, you ARE allowed to exercise outdoors.


    Under Florida’s stay at home orders, you are allowed to participate in “recreational activities (consistent with social distancing) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming.”

    Please explain how posing for a group selfie in the middle of a pandemic is “consistent with social distancing.”

    Also, if COVID-19 can be contracted from surfaces made of basically any other material (e.g., plastic, cardboard, steel), willing to bet you can get it from a football. No one’s worried about these guys coping if they get infected — they’re healthy and have the financial means to deal with it. The concern is them giving it to older people or people who are otherwise sick.

    Also, posing for group selfies during a pandemic like this is childish and disrespectful to employees in healthcare, public safety, grocery stores, etc. who are busting their asses to help people and try to fix this.

  14. All of these ‘orders’ for people in general are just suggestions, they always were. They can close bars and the like, but busting up family gatherings, church services, and forcing people out back home simply isn’t constitutional. From the library of congress: “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the United States Congress from enacting legislation that would abridge the right of the people to assemble peaceably.[1] The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes this prohibition applicable to state governments.
    It may be unwise to do what they are doing, but we don’t need a national emergency to know people do unwise things all the time and governments cannot stop them. By the way, remember how March ended. See if April ends the same as it started; spoiler alert-it won’t.

  15. First for all the people talking about the Florida stay at home order it does not go into effect until 12:01 am Friday. Second because they are working out together means that they are interacting with the general public and have the virus. Common sense especially for the person who replied they are putting EVERYONE at risk . HOW GENIUS?

  16. Y’all internet police jump on everything like you know facts. You se a pic fact. With them together fact. Working out fact. Anything else is speculation unless you personally know them or are with them. This is way less dangerous then going to a grocery store and touching or buying things that several others (who you have no idea who they are and could very well have the virus)

  17. Lol@ all the thumbs down. Y’all are funny. Instead of the thumbs down how about a response that actually makes sense. Please tell me how I’m wrong about how this is more dangerous than going to the grocery store. PLEASE.

  18. “Who exactly are they putting at risk again with this outrageous behavior?”

    Anyone they come into contact with if they’re carrier.

    Consider for example the 70 odd kids in their 20s who chartered a plane to take them from Austin, TX to Mexico for spring break 2 weeks ago.

    44 of them have now tested positive for conronavirus, and they most certainly exposed a lot of other people to it. They were young, healthy people who willingly added to their own and the misery of others who they have made sick because they put their spring break fun ahead of everyone around them.

    How many of their grandparents did they expose before they were tested? Parents? Siblings? You can be a carrier for days with no symptoms, that’s one of the things that makes this virus so vicious.

    Follow the freaking social distancing guidelines!

  19. Also based on all these comments I guess it’s just as irresponsible to go for a run on a public sidewalk with your wife and son or daughter? The more I think about it the more crazy some of y’all sound. Touching the gate to leave your community is not as risky as three guys tossing a football( that btw none of you know what was done to the football before hand) ? There are so many variable to this whole thing that. Don’t discount 1 thing as risky and irresponsible and say other thing are not. We all have to eat so we all have to grocery shop . There is no risk in that? Cmon. Be real instead of just trying to bash them because AB is with them. If it was other nothing would be said. Example 3 Jaguar players working out together at a local park earlier this week. Why nothing about that? No I won’t post a link but it’s not hard to find for all you people who spend 24/7 on the internet

  20. Mmmpierogi says: “Also, posing for group selfies during a pandemic like this is childish and disrespectful to employees in healthcare, public safety, grocery stores, etc. who are busting their asses to help people and try to fix this.”

    As he said, Marquise and Antonio are COUSINS. If they are living together with Marquise’s teammate Jackson, then they are also allowed to exercise outdoors together. If you’re already sharing a household, THERE IS NO POINT OF SOCIAL DISTANCING JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE IN PUBLIC.

    As for selfies, please EXPLAIN how it’s disrespectful to healthcare workers. One has NOTHING to do with the other. Its how many of us are keeping in touch with family and friends since we can’t be together. Grow up.

  21. I remember the good old days when the internet used to get outraged when an athlete broke the law. Now they don’t even have to break the law for the keyboard cops to get after them.

    Before you throw the “stay home” order they were outside working out before it went into effect and probably before they even knew it existed. For all you know they could be home right now hoarding toilet paper just like you.

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