The new normal that football programs everywhere have been forced to embrace and adapt to looks much different than the world we lived in just a few months ago. Practices and workouts where social distancing measures have to take place, where coaches and players are wearing masks, where there is no (or limited) locker room access for teams, and where daily temperature checks has become the world that we live in, at least for now in the wake of COVID-19 precautions and concerns.
The NFL recently came out with guidelines requiring teams to maintain the 6-foot social distancing guidelines in their locker rooms, meeting rooms, weight room and dining areas. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh shared with ESPN that he believes that what the league is asking teams to do is “humanly impossible.”
“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,” Harbaugh shared.
“I’m pretty sure the huddle is not going to be 6-feet spaced. Are guys going to shower one at a time all day? Are guys going to lift weights one at a time all day? These are things the league and the players’ association needs to get a handle on and needs to get agreed with some common sense so we can operate in a 13-hour day in training camp that they’re giving us and get our work done.”
Many of Harbaugh’s logistical concerns are shared by high school and college coaches regarding returning to training under recommended state or local COVID guidelines, but there are obvious differences between how much time NFL players spend in their team facility and how much a high school kid spends at their local high school.
Harbaugh went on to share that he believes the NFL and NFLPA will eventually agree on a set of guidelines that are more realistic by the time that NFL training camps start up in late July with preseason games set for early August.
Head here to read more from the ESPN piece, including Harbaugh’s concerns on how other teams may angle for an advantage under these limitations.
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