The Atlanta Falcons new running back Todd Gurley isn’t convinced the NFL’s Covid-19 safety protocols are up to snuff. The NFL and the NFLPA haven’t locked down a complete restart plan yet and players are already reporting to facilities to start Covid-testing. In a recent interview with 92.9 Atlanta, Gurley said:
“There’s not a proper plan in place that I’m comfortable with. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have any kids. You have to look at guys on the other side who have [a] pregnant wife, kids and a wife that they go home to every single day. I just feel like we just need to come up with something a lot better than what they’re giving us. Everything they gave us is pretty last minute. We should have been able to have answers weeks ago, if not months ago. You have to be prepared to not play or be prepared to have a half a season. If they don’t do things right, we won’t have a full season. It’s just how things have been going so far this year. Hopefully everything goes well, but I don’t see [it]. It just doesn’t sit well right now.”
Gurley is the first player to publicly talk about possibly sitting out, but many have questioned, rightfully so, the NFL’s slow and piece meal approach to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. As negotiations continue, we will likely hear more players worry out loud about the haphazard way the league’s plan to keep players, coaches, team employees and stadium workers safe for months of pro football.
Gurley did say he felt great and is ready to go, but if he were to sit out, the Falcons would fall back on Ito Smith as the de facto starter, but would likely find depth off the street as well. Maybe Devonta Freeman would like another spin?