“We’re very happy for Aldon Smith,” said Schaffer, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “We look forward to watching him have a great career. I think this shows that the NFL is following through on what they said their focus is going to be — more on rehabilitating players and helping players than disciplining players. … Creating a new culture in the NFL is exciting.”
Schaffer added that he and Gregory continue to work through the NFL’s reinstatement process.
“We are working through the process,” Schaffer said.
An NFL spokesperson said that Gregory is still under review and would not supply further comments.
“The matter remains under review. We have no further comment,” said the NFL representative.
- Jane Slater, citing a source close to new Cowboys DE Aldon Smith, reports the reinstated defensive end has been clean and sober since July, while a Dallas position coach has been impressed with his speed and fitness.
- Salter mentions that Smith has people close to him residing in Dallas who can make sure he “remains accountable.”
NFLPA president and Browns C JC Tretter said there is a “long list of hurdles” for the league to safely return.
“So there’s probably not one, two, five things, there’s a long list of hurdles we have to get over and things we have to watch and check,” Tretter said, Scott Petrak of BrownsZone. “So we’ve stayed really up to date with everything and made sure that we’re always looking through the lens of how do we keep our players safe and healthy as well as their families.”
As for training camp in July, Tretter said the player’s association will continue to process information as they receive it and will make decisions based on their safety.
“I think that’s still a ways out. I don’t think we’re there at this point. I think we continually just keep looking at what new information comes out, and in the end, we’ve just got to make good decisions and safe decisions,” said Tretter.
As for the league playing the 2020 season, Tretter mentioned that there will “always” be a certain level of exposure for players and they hope to limit spread as much as possible.
“There’s a level of risk to everything. You’re facing a level of risk right now going to the grocery store. There’s always going to be a level of exposure that people are going to face in this,” Tretter said. “That’s never going to be down to zero. Our job is to try to get that as close to zero as possible. And that’s why you have to kind of look at everything. In every little thing you can find a little dip and fix one issue, that just decreases the level of exposure you’ll face.”
The NFL’s chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said they “fully well expect” that positive cases of COVID-19 will arise during the season and they hope to isolate infected players, coaches, or other staff members.
“We have a task force working very diligently on that,” Sills said, via Marke Maske of the Washington Post. “We fully well expect that we will have positive cases that arise because we think that this disease will remain endemic in society. And so it shouldn’t be a surprise if new positive cases arise. Our challenge is to identify them as quickly as possible and to prevent spread to any other participants. So we’re working very diligently on that, and we’ll have some detailed plans to share about that at a later time.”
Sills added that the NFL will continue adjusting its plan to re-open over the next couple of months.
“We’ve already done a tremendous amount of work there. We have broad agreement on many, many issues that we continue to discuss. Some of the issues, like we just talked about with testing, we know that’s going to continue to evolve. So we will likely be in a very different place 30 days from now, 60 days from now than we are today. So those conversations will continue. … We just have to remain flexible and adaptable to respond to the new knowledge that’s emerging and to the experience of the other pro sports leagues around the world.”
Sills pointed out that the NFL faces obvious “unique challenges” given the nature of football prevents social-distancing measures.
“I think when you get to football, you do have some unique challenges,” said Sills. “Obviously football and physical distancing are not compatible with each other. So we know that we’ll have people in close proximity to one another. So there are some unique challenges that we face. But most all of the challenges are going to be common to many of these sports activities.”