The Los Angeles Rams announced on Friday that they will be skipping in-person voluntary workouts this summer, joining a handful of other teams and players in believing that conditions are not yet adequate in response to being safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine other teams have released similar statements and the following statement by the Browns, whose center J.C. Tretter is the NFLPA president, outlines many of the issues players are concerned about:
“The NFL’s memo outlining how they plan to implement voluntary workouts falls short of what we as players believe is adequate. The Cleveland Browns players agree that a virtual offseason, like we had last year, is the best decision for everyone in our league,” the Browns players’ statement read. “COVID-19 continues to affect our players, our families and our communities, and we must continue to take it seriously. In addition to the ongoing threat of the pandemic, we felt healthier both mentally and physically last year, which we attribute to sufficient recovery time and the lack of additional wear and tear on our bodies during the spring months. The league-wide injury data supports us as well, as NFL players experienced a 23% reduction in missed-time injuries last season.
“For these reasons, we stand in solidarity with players from other clubs by exercising our CBA right to not attend in-person voluntary workouts this offseason. We are professionals who train year-round, wherever we spend our offseason. As we proved last year, we will be ready to compete this upcoming season.”
April 19 is the first day of offseason workout programs for all teams that didn’t hire new head coaches this year.