Falcons New Star RB Todd Gurley Prepared to Skip 2020 Season?

Todd gurley

Getty Running back Todd Gurley #30 of the St. Louis Rams.

Several NFL players are talking about sitting out this season due to feeling uneasy about the NFL not doing “enough” for player safety against COVID-19.

Atlanta Falcons’ new starting running back Todd Gurley is among the list of the players who are thinking about skipping out on the 2020 season.

Gurley told CBS Sports Radio hosts Brandon Tierney and Tiki Barber, that he’s not comfortable with what the NFL has come up with so far.

“You have to be prepared to not play or be prepared to have a half a season,” Gurley said. “If they don’t do things right, we won’t have a full season. It’s just how things have been going so far this year. Hopefully everything goes well, but I don’t see how. It just doesn’t sit well right now.”

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The NFL Had Months to Plan for COVID

With training camps just a week away, the NFL and NFLPA still haven’t come to a full agreement so it’s understandable as to why Gurley is feeling uncertain about the current situation.

“It’s really not structured right,” Gurley said on Tiki and Tierney. “There’s not a proper plan in place that I’m comfortable with. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have any kids. But you have to look at guys on the other side who have pregnant wives, kids and a wife that they go home to every single day. I just feel like in general we just need to come up with something a lot better than what they’re giving us. Everything they gave us is pretty last minute. We should have been able to have answers weeks ago, if not months ago.”

The NFL owners and NLPA set up a meeting earlier this week which should have been set up weeks ago. The NBA and MLB were able to get back to work because they worked hard for weeks.

The league is primarily worried about money right now, which also makes sense because that’s people’s jobs and livelihoods and that’s “health” too. The only winning situation will be is if the league gets more concrete about keeping the players safe all year and not just a few months.

Players Have the Choice of Opting Out

The NFL and NFLPA did come to an agreement on Friday that is giving players a choice to opt-out of the 2020 season, so Gurley isn’t crazy for saying he’s prepared.

Players have until August 1 to make their final decision.

The Falcons have their safety measures in check for the most part which Gurley should feel somewhat secure about: Players will need to test negative twice before they are allowed to enter the facility. Fan attendance will be from 10,000-20,000 at Mercedez Benz Stadium instead of the normal 70,000. All fans and employees are required to wear a mask. Also, the team facility in Flowery Branch has been rearranged for social distancing measures.

The players’ biggest concern aside from actually getting sick and how sick they might be is them spreading it to their family and is the league going to pay medical costs?

A Falcons Offense Without Gurley Is a Sad One

Gurley joining the Falcons offense was finally going to give Matt Ryan options in the run and passing game which he hasn’t had in back-to-back seasons.

At just 25-years-old Gurley has a lot of NFL left in him so sitting out this season wouldn’t be hurting him at all. It could actually be in his benefit to take care of his knee. It certainly wouldn’t be in Atlanta’s benefit.

Without Gurley, the Falcons have a mediocre backfield. Ito Smith is coming off of injuries and concussions. Brian Hill has come through but nothing extraordinary. And Qadree Ollison looks promising but I wouldn’t put my trust into him.

Atlanta needs Gurley this season but now fans will have to mentally prepare for his decision if it is what we don’t want to hear.

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