Both players have held private workouts with their teammates as the coronavirus has seen a resurgence in some states. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smtih told USA Today on Sunday that the private workouts may have a direct impact on the season going forward.
“Those practices are not in the best interest of player safety, they aren't 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. I certainly understand how competitive our players are and I get that, but at the same time we are in the process of trying to negotiate -- we have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if they test positive during the season. Does that player go on injured reserve? Do they go on short-term IR? 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?” Smith said.
“All of the things that players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts. We sent out the guidance because we think that was in their best health and safety interest. Let's just say that for some of the players who have practiced -- we have made sure that they have heard the message.”
Brady had been criticized earlier last week for working out despite the advisory.
On Thursday, Brady used a quote from former President Franklin D. Roosevelt to thumb his nose at the noise around his sessions.
“’Only thing we have to fear, is fear itself’ – FDR,” Brady wrote on an Instagram story.
Dr. Thom Mayer, the union’s chief medical director, sent a memo to players earlier in the week urging them to stop doing private workouts, according to NFL.com.
“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts. Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months,” he wrote. “We are working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season, and believe that it is in the best interest of all players that we advise against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences.”
The Buccaneers also had a few members of the organization test positive for the coronavirus.