Like Tom Brady, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is hosting workouts with teammates against advice of the NFLPA.
Unlike Brady, Murray’s team is calling him out for it on the official team website.
Murray posted Instagram and Twitter video of workouts with teammates on Monday. Wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk are among the players seen catching passes in drills with Murray as he sports a T-shirt reading “equality.”
— Kyler Murray (@K1) June 29, 2020
Cardinals’ official site digs up workout details
Murray didn’t provide many details beyond the video, but it clearly shows players working out in conflict with NFLPA guidance on COVID-19 safety.
But don’t worry. AZCardinals.com has you covered. The official site of the Cardinals reported on the workout and identified Dan Arnold, Chase Edmonds, Kenyan Drake, Maxx Williams, Trent Sherfield and Drew Anderson as also participating.
In fact, the team website has been on the case since last week, parsing players’ social media posts to determine if in fact they were working out together against coronavirus guidelines and identifying the Dallas-area location of the workouts.
Is there a chance the workouts occurred before the NFLPA issues its COVID-19 guidance? Nope. AZCardinals.com also reported that Murray footed the bill for the workout that was planned prior to the NFLPA memo but scheduled for after the memo was released last Saturday.
So what exactly is the motive behind the intrepid reporting from the team website shining a less-than sterling light on its franchise quarterback? That’s not quite clear.
NFL QBs bucking COVID-19 guidance
What is clear is that NFL players, like much of the American population, are going to do what they want to do amid the pandemic regardless of public health advice.
The NFLPA memo delivered June 20 makes clear that the union believes it’s not in the best interest of player health to engage in these workouts based on guidance from medical director Dr. Thom Mayer.
“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,” Mayer wrote. “Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.”
Since then, Brady, Murray, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson have initiated workouts among teammates. And those are just the ones we know about.
NFLPA criticizes workouts
The workouts drew criticism from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith on Sunday.
“Those practices are not in the best interests of player safety,” Smith told USA Today. “They're not in the best interests of protecting our players heading into training camp and I don't think they're in the best interests of us getting through an entire season.”
Of course these low-impact pass-and-catch drills are nothing in terms of pandemic concerns compared to training camps scheduled for next month and the actual NFL season. There’s no such thing as social distancing in tackle football.
So if they’ll be doing the real thing in the fall, it seems some players are willing to take the lesser risk of passing drills in the summer to get a leg up.
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