CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA president JC Tretter revealed Monday that reports of the league and players working together on creating playoff bubbles are premature.
That’s not to say that it won’t happen, but according to Tretter, those talks have yet to take place.
“Those conversations really haven’t happened between the two sides at this point,” Tretter said during a Zoom video conference with reporters a day after Cleveland’s 41-35 win over the Tennessee Titans to improve to 9-3. “I think that’s a lot more the public talking about what they think should happen or what they think would be good. But that really hasn’t come across between the two sides to discuss at this point.”
Although there have been multiple schedule changes this season – most recently to accommodate the Baltimore Ravens’ COVID-19 outbreak – the NFL has been able to successfully navigate the pandemic without having to cancel and miss games through 13 weeks.
With four weeks to go in the regular season, Tretter was asked how confident he is that the remainder of the season and post season could be played without delay or interruption.
“It all comes down to following the protocols and doing the right thing,” Tretter said. “I wouldn’t use the word confidence. I think if we follow the protocols and everybody does the right thing, I think we’ll get there.”
Tretter and the Browns have had their own challenges of dealing with COVID-19 from practice schedules being changed to players coming down with the virus.
Star defensive end Myles Garrett returned Sunday following a bout with the virus that left him unable to play for two weeks but the Browns have been able to avoid a major outbreak because the organization has been vigilant about adhering to the health and safety protocols in place this year.
“It’s something that has to be top of mind every single day,” Tretter said. “You can’t forget about it or take it less serious as we get closer to the finish line. I think we’re getting there, and I think we’ve done a really good job of getting to where we’re at now.”
Containment of the virus and preventing outbreaks and spread within and between teams has always been the goal, and Tretter seemed satisfied with the efforts being made across the league.
“If you look where we started in the summer where the country was locked down and people weren’t sure if it was even possible to have a season to getting to or through 12 games, it’s impressive,” Tretter said, “and there’s still a lot of work to do to get through the rest of the season and the playoffs but that’s been our goal from the get-go – starting the season, following through and then getting to the Super Bowl.”