With training camp approaching, the NFL Players Association announced on Thursday that 72 NFL players have tested positive for COVID-19.
The data considered testing results as of July 10. The number represents 2.5% of players considering 90-man rosters for training camps. The NFLPA did not report how many players had undergone testing.
Positives before players gather
With training camp yet to start, the 72 positive cases represent players who have contracted the coronavirus either in their everyday lives or in unsanctioned workouts among teammates. Players are not yet in locker rooms or on practice fields together.
Quarterbacks across the league like Tom Brady, Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson have hosted workouts with teammates despite being advised against doing so by the NFLPA. The NFLPA did not release names of the players who tested positive.
The NFLPA released the numbers amid the launch of a COVID-19 information hub that bills itself as a “one-stop-shop of information ... about returning to work, testing and COVID-related protocols for players, teams and facilities.”
The page also included numbers on the concentration of COVID-19 cases in NFL counties, with the Dolphins home of Miami-Dade county recording the highest rate. Norfolk County, which is home to the New England Patriots, has the lowest concentration, according to NFLPA data.
Concern lingers over NFL’s COVID-19 plan
The report arrives the same day that Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt criticized the NFL for its lack of COVID-19 planning, claiming that players are largely in the dark about protocols to protect players in addition to financial implications of the pandemic. Watt’s statement arrived after weeks of reported concerns from players over the NFL’s preparedness for play amid the pandemic.
Training camps are scheduled to open on July 28 with rookies scheduled to report on July 19.
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