DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Several Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans players have recently tested positive for the coronavirus, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning. One of those players is star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Rapoport says that none of the players are believed to have been in their team facilities and that both teams have followed health protocols. The Cowboys, citing federal and privacy laws, declined comment.
Last week, the NFL sent COVID-19 guidelines to teams for when players return this summer for training camp.
Some of them included lockers needing to be at least six feet apart and then different restrictions on meeting sizes, wearing masks, encouraging virtual meetings, etc.
The league had previously mandated that all teams must hold training camp at their own facilities, meaning that the Cowboys will not be permitted to hold camp in Oxnard, California.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh went on the record voicing his concerns last week about the guidlines when appearing on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore.
“I've seen all the memos on that, and to be quite honest with you, it's impossible what they're asking us to do. Humanly impossible," he said. "We're going to do everything we can do. We're going to space, we're going to have masks. But this is a communication sport.”
A few more coaches spoke to MMQB's Albert Breer and they too had some issues.
“We’re banging heads in 1-on-1 drills, licking fingers to throw and snap footballs, high-fiving after good plays, breathing on one another after great tackles, huddling over 100 snaps a day, standing on sidelines shoulder-to-shoulder during 11-on-11s, but we need to be six feet apart all other times. Makes zero sense," one NFC head coach said. "Try scheduling for that protocol. I just stopped doing it. Too many what-ifs. I second John Harbaugh.”
A veteran assistant added: “Can’t have 20 or more in a defensive unit meeting BUT we can walk thru on the field? Makes no sense.”
Breer believes NFL coaches will do whatever they can to abide by the new rules, but the feeling among those in the league were these guidelines were put into place without really considering some basic Football 101 stuff.