Player safety is key to finishing of even starting this season and if one team is getting it right, it’s the Atlanta Falcons.
Keeping players safe and properly social distancing will be vital to a successful season. It will also keep players from wanting to opt-out due to the uncertainty of their safety.
Falcons Are Getting More Than Six Feet
The Falcons are not using their locker rooms during training camp, instead, the players have a lot more privacy and a lot more than six feet.
“We’re lucky that we’ve got a lot of space and a massive setup,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told Pro Football Talk. “For us to be able to kind of space out and make sure we are up to code on all of the protocols, we have these kind of townhomes that we stay in during training camp that are built right behind our facility, which we’re able to use as our locker room right now. We each have our own individual bathroom and bed and changing area, and all that kind of stuff.
“We’re uniquely built to kind of handle this, and our staff here has done an amazing job of trying to make it safe as possible for everybody and appreciate them doing that.”
While a lot of teams are still struggling to find safer ways to get through training camp, it feels good to know Arthur Blank and Thomas Dimitroff are taking real good care of their players.
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Players Have Choice to Skip 2020 Season
All players have until August 1 to decide if they want to skip the 2020 season or not. If they choose to, their contract rolls over into the following season and they get a stipend.
Matt Ryan shared some advice to those who are pondering the decision and made it clear that he won’t be opting out.
“I think everybody’s circumstances are different,” Ryan said. “You have to do what’s best for yourself and your family and your loved ones around you. I think that if you’re around people who are at risk, I’d encourage you to think really long and hard about it.
“For me, specifically I’m in a situation where my day-to-day is not surrounded by people who are at high risk and we’re kind of able to bubble our little world and make sure that we are being as safe as possible. I feel comfortable coming in and getting ready to start the season.”
No Preseason, No Problem?
There will be zero exhibitions games this season and that’s really good news for the vets, but it’s not so much good news for the rookies.
Ryan’s goal during camp is to selflessly focus more on getting them ready and a little less on himself.
“For a guy like me, I’m in Year 13. I think it’s going to be easier for a guy like myself having been through so many different situations, so many years, so many games played and feeling comfortable in those”, Ryan said. But for our rookies and young guys who have not had that experience, I think we’ve got to have to help them out as much as we can and try and make them feel as comfortable as possible. Because when we kick it off against Seattle Week 1, that game is just as important as Week 17. It means just as much.”
QB1 also said that Quinn is putting together a good schedule for camp to try and simulate what the experience is going to be like for rookies.