The NFL is planning to start the 2020 season on time and with few dynamic changes outside of limiting stadium capacity. But in an effort to stop the potential spread of the coronavirus, the NFL is thinking about punishments for players who break the rules.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, player reps at a recent NFLPA conference call were told that they could be subject to fines for “conduct detrimental” if they engage in “reckless” behavior outside of team facilities. Specifically, “eating out in restaurants and using ride-sharing services” could be punishable offenses.
In addition to the punishments, players also expressed concerns over the league’s desire to “rush back to play” if they consider the virus such a threat. Others wants to know what the status of their contracts would be if they opt out of the season before or during it.
“Sources told ESPN there was plenty of pushback on Thursday’s call from players asking why they are trying to rush back to play if the virus is such a dangerous threat,” Graziano wrote. “Players also have been asking what happens to their contracts if they opt not to play for virus-related reasons (as some NBA players already have), what happens if they grow too uncomfortable to play as the season goes on and what happens to next year’s salary cap as a result of lost revenue this year.”
Unfortunately, Graziano’s sources found that almost all of those issues are yet to be resolved.
Training camps are slated to open in just over two weeks for rookies, and three weeks for veterans.
Whatever the NFL plans to do as far as making things safe for all of the players and staff, they’d better figure it out quickly.