NFLPA directs agents to ensure players know COVID-19 risks

As we move closer toward the return of on-field activities in the NFL, the NFLPA is directing agents to properly inform their clients to ensure they are armed with all available knowledge related to COVID-19 before deciding on participating in the 2020 season.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero obtained a memo sent by the NFLPA to player agents Monday in which the players' union directed agents to "ensure that your player-clients are provided with the most up to date information regarding COVID, including advice from the medical experts regarding some underlying medical conditions that may place certain individuals at increased risk of severe illness from COVID.

"Every player needs to be aware of their individual medical status as they approach a return to work," the NFLPA said in the memo, adding that they "must engage their clients in a conversation about the vital importance of carefully reviewing this information with their personal physician" by mid-July.

To that end, the NFLPA memo included "important risk factor information provided by the Centers for Disease Control," which included detailed information on nearly 20 different preexisting conditions that might lead to an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

The NFLPA advised players ask their personal doctors "any and all questions they have regarding these risk factors in light of their personal medical history and their job as an NFL player," while also recommending players speak with their team doctors about any and all risk factors.

"We want each player to be fully informed about his personal medical situation as he makes decisions about returning to play in the league and throughout the course of the season; proactive engagement in this manner will help players achieve that goal," the NFLPA wrote in closing.

With the nation's top medical professionals continuing to learn more about the ongoing pandemic, and training camps set to open across the league in one month, communication and education is vital to maintaining a healthy league and preventing the spread of coronavirus among its participants. The NFLPA's memo is just the latest in a string of proactive actions taken by both the union and the NFL in a joint effort to ensure player safety in an unprecedented time.

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