John Harbaugh: Compliance with NFL coronavirus protocol is “humanly impossible”

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The NFL has communicated a detailed protocol for limiting the spread of the coronavirus in facilities and stadiums. One NFL coach isn’t a fan of the widespread rules and regulations.

“I’ve seen all the memos on that, and to be quite honest with you, it’s impossible what they’re asking us to do. Humanly impossible,” Harbaugh said Thursday on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, via Aaron Kasinitz of PennLive.com. “We’re going to do everything we can do. We’re going to space, we’re going to have masks. But, you know, it’s a communication sport. So if we want to get out there and have any idea what we’re going to be able to do, we have to communicate with each other in person. We have to practice.”

The protocol mandates physical distancing in locker rooms, meeting rooms, and elsewhere in the facility. Eventually, however, guys will be playing football — which entails the exact opposite of physical distancing.

“I’m pretty sure the huddle is not going to be six feet spaced,” Harbaugh said. “Are guys going to shower one at a time all day? Are guys going to lift weights one at a time all day? These are things the league and the [NFL]PA needs to get a handle on and needs to get agreed with some common sense so we can operate in a 13-hour day in training camp that they’re giving us and get our work done. That’s the one thing, you can tell by my voice, I’m a little frustrated with what I’m hearing there. And I think they need to get that pinned down a little better.”

Harbaugh hopes that more clarity will come before training camp opens.

“Now maybe we’ll know more in two months and they’ll be able to be a little more realistic and practical in what they’re asking,” Harbaugh said. “I expect that to be the case. I think good people, smart people are involved in this. But the way I’m reading these memos right now, you throw your hands up and you go, ‘What the heck? There’s no way this can be right.’”

Whatever the rules, Harbaugh wants to be confident that everyone is complying.

“[A]s a coach, you don’t want to hear that you’re limiting your operations as far as preparing your team and then you hear 10 other teams aren’t paying attention to the rules,” Harbaugh said. “I just think it needs to be fair and it needs to be reasonable.”

The rules are fair, given that they apply to everyone. Harbaugh would seriously question whether they are reasonable.

36 responses to “John Harbaugh: Compliance with NFL coronavirus protocol is “humanly impossible”

  1. Especially since Coach John has a problem with following training camp protocols even under normal circumstances 🙂

  2. Just make everyone sign waivers before they can resume football activities, only someone like Kaepernick would refuse

  3. This notion that the NFL is going to open in September is pure fantasy. The enevitable positive test on a team(s) and then what forfitng games, reschedule like a rainout. I fear until a vaccine sports as we know it are not going to happen, is everyone going to be willing to sign a waiver? I don’t think so.

  4. it should also humanly impossible to go 14-2 during the regular season and 1-and-done in the post-season. but it’s not.

  5. I ain’t afraid of the Boogie Man. Use common sense hygiene. Keep your immune system strong. Stay out of nursing homes.

  6. Overreacting – to respond more emotionally or forcibly than justified. Welcome to the future.

  7. Just do what you feel best for your team and stay cautious and safe, use common sense. But of course John Harbaugh had to be the one to publicly cry about it.

  8. He raises legitimate questions about the contact required to do any of this.

    PS- Here’s the elephant in the room: Even if you cut the stadium crowd in half, 30,000 people opening their mouths and screaming toward one another seems like it could not be considered social distancing by any guidelines. Took a flight for the first time in a while last week. Had to stand in line six feet apart to board a plane where we sat six inches apart. None of it quite adds up.

  9. usually when harbaugh has had trouble grasping the rules (e.g. what constitutes a legal receiver) as well as the opposing coach, he whines and gets them changed, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens here.

  10. I expect the NFL is making a point of saying all the politically correct things, wearing masks, 6 feet, etc. but knows no one will actually be able to follow all that. For now it’s just about keeping up appearances so games can be played.

  11. Harbaugh is pointing out the sheer stupidity of the notion that football can safely resume with utilization of protocols. Start it up. Fine. But don’t pretend it’s going to be safe. The same goes for having fans at the games.

  12. Chill out John. Everyone is stressed out. It will be ok. Take a couple deep breaths. We’ll get through this.

  13. The whole thing is ridiculous. If they want to provide best practices and recommend that you follow as best you can within reason, that’s one thing. But no one would get anything done following the CDC’s guidelines as they are written. Common sense has to come into play.

  14. I think it’s fantasy to think football can happen at all this fall. This virus just isn’t going away and it’s becoming increasingly clear that when folks don’t keep distant and don’t take the right precautions, the virus comes back quickly. There is no vaccine and no effective treatment and nothing is imminent. I’m a football diehard, but I just don’t see it happening.

  15. Well as a ravens fans. We need Lamar safe. If it’s inhumanly impossible than cancel the season

  16. Not to worry. Simply claim that all team related activities are a protest against white supremacy and you’re good to go, because protocols and precautions in response to a deadly virus are thus rendered unnecessary

  17. The NFL is gonna have a serious number of players w/ Covid by Sept. They won’t be able to get guys in quarantine before they spread the virus. I would not be surprised if the NFL actually took a 2 or 3 wk break & shorten the season due to the virus.

  18. He’s right – it’s hard to understand the point of distancing in the locker room as you dress to go play a contact game.

  19. Sorry but it’s time to stop worry about this virus. If everyone is going to be okay with large gatherings of people to “peaceful” protest, we CANNOT act like this virus is spiking and be so naive to say that people don’t understand why cases spiked in the past ten days.
    Open everything back up and end this stupidity of so many people being without jobs. Get this country back where it was.

  20. Just practice in full uniforms and wear gloves and a mask under your helmet.Mist the uniform down with anti bacterial spray.Shouldn’t be that big of a deal…GO BILLS!!!

  21. But thousands of people protesting so close together in big cities is all right with the states officials.
    LOL

  22. Possible or not what is so bizarre during this reopening time is how many places’ rules outright contradict each other. My city has everything for high school graduations ranging from totally canceled, to drive-through with zero contact, to basically normal where graduates can have up to 10 guests. The gyms and pools just reopened with minimal restrictions while some large offices still aren’t allowing more than a couple people in a room at a time. It makes no sense at all.

  23. They will do their best to follow whatever rules they can and over time everything will fall by the wayside. The virus numbers don’t support the continued over-reaction with regard to healthy people. the people they need to focus on are some of the older, out-of-shape coaches.

  24. “I think it’s fantasy to think football can happen at all this fall.”
    ___________

    These comments are funny because just as nobody thought things would be totally shut down due to the virus now some people just can’t fathom that things are going to be restarting. Fair to debate whether fans will be at the games but why wouldn’t games take place when things like gyms, theme parks, etc will all be open? My kid’s school just announced they’re going to have a normal schedule this Fall with all 2,000 students in attendance. If stuff like that is going to be happening safe bet that 22 guys will be allowed to share a football field.

  25. mogogo1 says:
    June 12, 2020 at 12:19 pm
    “I think it’s fantasy to think football can happen at all this fall.”
    ___________

    These comments are funny because just as nobody thought things would be totally shut down due to the virus now some people just can’t fathom that things are going to be restarting. Fair to debate whether fans will be at the games but why wouldn’t games take place when things like gyms, theme parks, etc will all be open? My kid’s school just announced they’re going to have a normal schedule this Fall with all 2,000 students in attendance. If stuff like that is going to be happening safe bet that 22 guys will be allowed to share a football field.

    ————-

    Are teams going to simply forfeit games when a team has 2, 3 or more players that currently test positive for Covd19?

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