Todd Gurley ‘prepared not to play’ if NFL’s COVID-19 plan remains unclear
Running back Todd Gurley was among the notable additions the Atlanta Falcons made to their roster this offseason. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has given him and many other players good reason to proceed with caution.
Players have expressed their concern with the lack of established health guidelines for players heading into training camp. Gurley shared during an appearance on Tiki and Tierney that he is admittedly disappointed with the lack of precautions taken by the NFL:
“It’s really not structured right,” Gurley said on. “There’s not a proper plan in place that I’m comfortable with. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have any kids. But you have to look at guys on the other side who have pregnant wives, kids and a wife that they go home to every single day. I just feel like in general we just need to come up with something a lot better than what they’re giving us. Everything they gave us is pretty last minute. We should have been able to have answers weeks ago, if not months ago.”
Gurley added that he is fully prepared to sit out the 2020 campaign if the NFL does not ramp up its efforts to put an emphasis on player safety.
“You have to be prepared to not play or be prepared to have a half a season,” Gurley said. “If they don’t do things right, we won’t have a full season. It’s just how things have been going so far this year. Hopefully everything goes well, but I don’t see how. It just doesn’t sit well right now.”
The frustration on the players’ part is certainly understandable, considering how the NFL has handled dealing with the outbreak so far. They’ve looked far more disjointed compared to other leagues whose seasons are now in full swing like the NBA and MLB. As a result, it appears players are preparing themselves for the prospect of having to sit out.
The NFL and NFLPA have had long, ongoing discussions on testing protocols to ensure a safe work environment for players. This includes eliminating the preseason along with a longer ramp-up period to give teams more time to prepare for the upcoming season. Both sides are still finalizing a firmdeal for those that opt to sit out on a voluntary or high-risk basis.
But until everyone gets their story straight, Todd Gurley isn’t in a rush to play.