Although the NFL and NFLPA may have established a set of guidelines for teams to follow in training camp during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay was admittedly skeptical about how it would all come to fruition.
With training camp set to begin, teams are having their players and staff undergo the 72-hour screening process that includes two days of testing, a day of isolation, and another test the following day. Regardless, this has not prevented the Rams from taking extra precautions anywhere they could.
Los Angeles was already able to limit the number of people in one place by having two separate facilities for business and football-related activities. They also put up a tent on the player parking lot where the team meetings and walkthroughs will take place.
Of course, the true challenge still lies ahead in avoiding any further setbacks leading up to the 2020 NFL season. According to NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, vice president of Sports Medicine and Performance Reggie Scott feels the onus falls on everyone to ensure that the protocols are being followed:
“It’s about education,” Scott said. “It’s not just education by coaches, the athletic trainers and the doctors here. It’s also peer-to-peer education. It’s self-policing a little bit in terms of making sure we’re going to hold each other accountable and make sure that this is just not about your personal health, but it’s about the health of the guy next to you.”
Scott added that they will provide resources to ensure their health both on and off the field:
“You have a variance of the way people feel about this in terms of some people don’t really think much of it to where some people that are really concerned if they get it, what’s going to happen to them or their family,” Scott said. “We have to make sure we have resources available for the mental health aspect of it, as well. We’re going to really heavily beef up those resources to make sure that we’re there for them, their family members.”
Players and staff will be tested every day throughout the course of training camp. Anyone that produces positive test results will have to go into a quarantine period that could last up to 10 days depending on their symptoms.
Despite the risks involved, Scott stated that there are not any players that have indicated their plans to potentially opt out of playing the 2020 NFL season due to coronavirus concerns. This is certainly an encouraging sign for the Rams as they get set to usher in a new era at SoFi Stadium.