NFLPA's Smith: Group workouts 'not in best interest of player safety'
Icon Sportswire / Getty

Several NFL players are conducting group workouts amid the coronavirus pandemic, which NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says is against the players' association's recommendations.

"Those practices are not in the best interest of player safety," Smith told Mackenzie Salmon of USA TODAY Sports. "They're not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp, and I don't think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season."

Smith said one of the problems is that the league and players' union haven't yet negotiated what will happen if a player tests positive for COVID-19 during training camp or the regular season.

"Does that player go on injured reserve? Do they go on short-term IR?" he said. "If you test positive for the virus after training camp, is that a work-related injury? Are you covered under workers' comp? What benefits are available to you if you have downstream injuries from (contracting) COVID-19?"

The NFLPA asked players last week to refrain from participating in group activities until training camp due to the recent rise in coronavirus cases in the United States. Florida, which has been the home for many of these workouts, registered almost 9,000 new positive cases on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

"We sent out the guidance because we think that was in their best health and safety interest," Smith added. "Let's just say that for some of the players who have practiced, we have made sure that they have heard the message."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Seattle Seahawks signal-caller Russell Wilson are some of football's biggest stars to share videos of their practices.

Brady has held multiple workouts with his new teammates. He last conducted a two-hour unofficial activity at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa with at least a dozen players, including tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Two players and one coach from the Buccaneers tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Comments
NFLPA's Smith: Group workouts 'not in best interest of player safety'
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox