Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ quarterback Tom Brady and his teammates seem to be unstoppable. The Bucs’ players met on Tuesday for a morning workout at a local prep school. While this shows how motivated they are to return to the field, the players still seem to have ignored recommendations by the NFLPA and other medical bodies regarding the growing COVID-19 cases.
Was it safe for the Bucs to workout together?
The NFL Players Association recommended, last week, that players stop practicing together until the start of training camps next month. “Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts,” a statement from Dr. Thom Mayer reads. “Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.”
Moreover, the rise of COVID-19 cases in Florida has had doctors worried that the southern state is about to become the next epicenter of the virus in America. And to top this, two of Tampa Bay’s players and an assistant coach recently tested positive for coronavirus.
Yet, Brady and his fellow teammates worked out together in very close proximity. He posted a picture with the Bucs’ tight end, Rob Gronkowski, captioned “no excuses“. When asked about the workout, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “Everyone associated with the NFL should follow the recommendations and guidelines of state and local authorities and medical experts, including the NFLPA.”
Was Tom Brady right to call a group workout despite health and safety concerns?
Analyst Jenna Laine believes that increased expectations from Tampa Bay to perform this season led them to get together. “Tom Brady, when he first got to the Buccaneers earlier this offseason, he continued to say, ‘I’ve got to get up to speed’... This is his first time playing in a new offense, in Bruce Arians’ offense. He’s got to get assimilated,” she told ESPN.
She added that as the Bucs’ newest starting quarterback, Brady, must also push the team’s young defensive backs. “That was their Achilles heel… They were a big reason why this team struggled in winning close games.”
The NFL or the NFLPA will not penalize the players present during the Tuesday workout, despite having flouted recommendations. “They encourage players to follow guidelines imposed by their state and local government and also from medical professionals including the NFLPA, whose own medical expert weighed in on that… advising players not to have these group workouts,” said Jenna.
Laine concluded with, “You’d really hope that someone like Tom Brady, who’s in such a heavy position of influence, not just locally but globally… understand[s] the optics of this – that it’s not necessarily a good look for [the Bucs] to be doing this.”