Jason La Canfora reports that NFL owners are “on edge” about how the anthem protests could impact the business of football.
“It’s definitely fair to say that owners are on edge about the current climate,” said one league source who was in contact with several ownership groups this week tells La Canfora. “They will be watching the ratings very closely and there is a worry that a segment of NFL fans want these games to be an escape from the everything else that is happening in the world and politics, and that they’ll find something else to do on Sunday’s if that’s no longer the case.
“No sponsors have pulled out yet, but there have been a lot of private conversations with them at the team level and the league level. Some sponsors have concerns about the ratings moving forward, and also about the idea that some fans are getting turned off by the protests. The owners have been put in a box here and they’re in a position where they’re going to get hammered by someone no matter what they do.”
The NFL is reportedly looking to find specific ways for the players to make tangible impacts on their communities.
“This is about finding very specific ways in which the league can work directly with players to make a change,” an ownership source who is close with commissioner Roger Goodell told La Canfora. “It’s about doing specific things with specific players to support their philanthropy and service. The dialogue with players like Malcolm Jenkins is very real and it dates back months. It’s about finding ways to move forward beyond just what you see some players express during the Anthem and into the cities they play in.”
According to Jason La Canfora, the NFL advisory board recommended that RB Kareem Hunt should stay in school after his junior year at Toledo, due to concerns about his weight and health with some of the evaluators on the board identifying him as a potential injury risk.
“He looked like a player that was going to get hurt again,” La Canfora’s source said.
Hunt would go on to transform himself during his senior year and looked to be far more explosive and better conditioned.
“He’s a totally different back from his junior year,” one evaluator told La Canfora. “He changed his body.”
- Adam Schefter reports that the Dolphins were expected to start rookie CB Cordrea Tankersley over veteran Byron Maxwell for Week 4’s game even before Maxwell went down with a hamstring injury prior to today’s game.