Everyone is trying to ensure the 2020 NFL season actually takes place, and that’s why the NFL Players Association has advised players, not to work out with teammates.
Dr. Thom Mayer said the following in a statement that the league is still working on proper safety protocol, and essentially, players shouldn’t be participating in private workouts together.
“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,” Mayer said in the statement. “Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.”
The concern is understandable as it has been reported that at least 10 teams in the NFL have reported at least one player on their roster has tested positive for COVID-19. However, that restriction would impact almost every team in the NFL, but it particularly handicaps the New England Patriots.
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Disturbing the Chemistry Between Stidham and Receivers
It’s no secret, second-year-pro Jarrett Stidham is in line to replace Tom Brady as the Patriots’ new starting quarterback. Over the course of the offseason, Stidham has been working with teammates, including veteran receiver Julian Edelman.
It’s reportedly just some player-organized throwing and catching sessions, but it’s this kind of offseason workout that helps to establish chemistry between a QB and his receivers.
Because of Edelman’s career-long connection with Brady, and Stidham’s inexperience, and lack of chemistry with Edelman, this time could be important. If the two men and other receivers can’t work out together, they could lose valuable time to get acquainted.
Getting Young Pass Catchers and Defenders on Task
Likewise, young receivers like N’Keal Harris, undrafted free agents like Isaiah Zuber, Jeff Thomas, and Stidham’s former college teammate at Auburn, Will Hastings may have been able to establish a bond as well.
This upcoming season is huge for Harry, a 2019 first-round selection. After a mostly nondescript rookie campaign, he could use all the extra work he can get in with his teammates.
Helps with Transition
Because of COVID-19 many of the preseason and offseason camp activities had to go virtual. Those were key times to help acclimate the sea of new players the Patriots have on their roster on both sides of the ball.
Obviously, not everyone was engaged in workouts together, but because this is such commonplace, a team with as much turnover as the Patriots stands to gain most from these private workouts.
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