NFL players union president JC Tretter is growing fearful the league prioritizing normalcy over player safety reduces the chances of a 2020 season.
“Every decision this year that prioritizes normalcy over innovation, custom over science or even football over health, significantly reduces our chances of completing the full season,” Tretter said Thursday in a memo from the NFLPA.
Talks with the NFL on the protocol and timing of the 2020 season have reportedly turned into a tug of war involving everything from opt-out clauses for players deemed at risk for contracting the coronavirus and roster designations for players who become ill when team workouts resume.
The NFL hasn’t shifted a timeline for training camp with most teams scheduled to report by July 28. The regular season opens Sept. 10 in Kansas City, but part of the ongoing debate between the two sides involves how to approach preseason.
There is still a chance no preseason games are played in August.
The NFLPA memo on Thursday said 72 players tested positive for the coronavirus as of July 10.
The union included a “heat map” where known COVID-19 cases are growing in number. The state of Florida includes three of the top four “hotspots” which are defined by the 14-day average of daily positive tests per 100,000 residents.
Miami is first, Jacksonville is third and Tampa Bay is fourth. Arizona, which includes the Tempe to Glendale region and Phoenix, is second.
Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans, is No. 5 with Las Vegas (Raiders), Los Angeles (Chargers, Rams), Houston, New Orleans and Dallas behind.
The lowest-risk regions are New England (Patriots), New York (Giants, Jets) and Buffalo followed by Detroit, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Seattle.