Perhaps the biggest problem the NFL and the NFLPA have at the moment agreeing to protocols to return to training camp is the sheer volume of unknowns they’re still dealing with, with just days before the first players are to report.
NFLPA president JC Tretter illustrated one of the biggest problems when asked during a videoconference with reporters Friday about quarantine rules.
Tretter pointed out that as a center, he’s effectively in “close contact” with every player in the offensive huddle, and every defensive lineman during practice. So if he tested positive late in the week, how would the league decide how many people to quarantine, and for how long? He mentioned that would put him in contact with around 30 people.
As you might imagine, it would be hard to play a game on Sunday if 30 players went into a lengthy quarantine on Friday.
Likewise, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith didn’t have a solid answer when asked how many positive tests per team would cause an entire team to be shut down (the way two teams in MLS have been during that league’s return). He emphasized the union’s position that daily testing was crucial, suggesting there was pushback from the league on that point.
With rookies from the Texans and Chiefs scheduled to report Monday, others following shortly thereafter, and all players scheduled to be in camp by July 28, it’s easy to wonder whether there’s enough time to answer all those questions, much less to anyone’s satisfaction.