COVID-19 Wreaking Major Havoc on Eagles Offseason Plans

Zach Ertz

Getty Eagles TE Zach Ertz battled through a lacerated kidney and fractured rib to play in the Eagles playoff loss to Seattle on Sunday.

Everything is on hold across the United States, and throughout the world, as a result of COVID-19. The virus has even paused football.

The NFL closed the practice facilities for all 32 teams at the end of March in an effort to level the playing field. That move was applauded as a necessary safety precaution to help flatten the curve. The league has since canceled traditional rookie minicamps and organized team activities (OTAs) this spring in favor of “virtual workouts.” The Eagles began their virtual offseason program on April 27, a three-week period that includes classroom instruction, workouts and non-football education.

Every franchise is in the same predicament but that doesn’t make the potential problems any less troubling. The inability to run routes together and share a locker room threatens to disrupt chemistry. For the Eagles, a team that brought in four speedy receivers, it could prove devastating. Carson Wentz already had to nix his annual team-bonding expedition and he acknowledged the challenges of building chemistry with his shiny new toys.

“There is a challenge developing chemistry, developing timing, developing all of that. But we’re not the only team dealing with it,” Wentz said on a video conference call. “The entire league is trying to find ways to be creative developing chemistry and developing team unity and everything. We’re doing the best we can and for now really just taking it one day at a time. This is unprecedented so there’s really no right or wrong way to go about it. We’re trying to be creative as we go.”

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Eagles GM Compares Situation to Dating Before Marriage

One of the most eye-opening quotes describing the current NFL environment amid COVID-19 came from Howie Roseman. The Eagles GM admitted that the 2020 season could be the most challenging year in NFL history.

Between social distancing rules and no face-to-face contact, it’s been a struggle to get to know the new players on a one-on-one basis. The coaches, scouts and front-office executives have been forced to rely on phone calls and video conferences.

“Obviously with social distancing and everything going on, it’s not the same way,” Roseman said. “Any time we can get valuable information from any of our players about guys they know, guys they’re a part of, it’s important for us to listen to that because a lot of it, it’s dating before you marry, so you don’t really know anyone until they’re really in your building unless you’ve already had that experience with them.”

Wentz Launches COVID-19 Virtual Fundraiser

Wentz has been doing his part to curb the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eagles quarterback launched a virtual fundraiser, via his AO1 Foundation, that includes a 24-hour silent auction on May 8. All money raised will go to support his latest initiative called “Love From the Crumb,” an offshoot of “Thy Kingdom Crumb,” the charity food truck he started last year.

The virtual fundraiser will take the place of the AO1 Foundation’s annual charity softball game held at Citizens Bank Park. Among the items being auctioned off is a game-worn jersey from last year’s win over Dallas, along with 24 other unique items. Check their social media for updates.

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