Our normal return date for training camp is quickly approaching and we are still far from back to “normal.” Our main concern is player safety, both in regard to preventing the virus’ transmission as well as preventing injuries after an extended and historically unique layoff.
Like many other industries, football’s resistance to change is based on the belief that the best way to run things is the way we’ve always run things. That pervasive thought process will stop this season in its tracks.
Since March, we have had hours of return to work meetings, reviewed research and developed detailed protocols -- all of which will be wasted if the NFL refuses to think and act differently when it comes to getting through a full season. Players don’t just want to return to work; we want to stay at work.
We did our due diligence and reviewed the impact of returning to play football after an unusually long period away. For example, following the extended break after the 2011 lockout, injuries increased by 25%. Achilles injuries more than doubled and hamstring strains went up 44%.