As noted earlier in the week, neither the NFL nor ESPN had anything to say about Raiders safety Johnathan Abram crashing into a TV cart on Monday night. The NFL is now addressing the issue, via its in-house media operation.
A story posted on NFL.com explains that Abram suffered a sprained shoulder and a chipped collarbone in the collision with the cart.
Abram was listed on this week’s injury report as having a shoulder injury, but he fully participated in every practice and will play at New England today.
Our prior story also pointed out that the NFL already had addressed the situation with ESPN. NFL.com explains that these discussions have continued. And the discussions have pinpointed one of the potential causes of the collision: Because fewer people are on the sidelines in 2020, the TV cart can get closer to the dotted yellow line that serves as the barrier for TV carts.
From the NFL.com story: “In any other year, a gaggle of cheerleaders and photographers, among others, may have prevented the TV cart from advancing that far toward the goal line. And Abram might’ve run into those same bystanders, rather than directly into the cart.”
Setting aside the question of whether this any-other-year outcome shows that maybe sidelines should be dramatically streamlined even in a non-pandemic season for the safety of both players and bystanders, the league and broadcast partners should be considering at every stadium whether the ability to position TV carts closer than ever to the yellow line means that they should.