All reports point to the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans reporting for training camp on Monday after both clubs reportedly submitted their Infectious Disease Emergency Response plans (IDER).
Also, the Chiefs and Texans were the teams that submitted their Infectious Disease Emergency Response plans, clearing the way for their rookies to report on Monday— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) July 18, 2020
The Chiefs and Texans are first up, as they begin the season on opening night, Thursday, September 10.
But that has not stopped various players from publicly expressing their concern — including defensive end JJ Watt, one of the Chiefs’ opening-night opponents. Watt’s Sunday tweet was retweeted by Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.
This marked the Watt’s second tweet in four days pertaining to player safety as Houston and Kansas City get ready to launch.
Once again in the interest of keeping everyone (players & fans) as informed as possible, here is an updated list of what we as players know and don’t know as the first group gets set to report to training camp tomorrow.#WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/xQcjs33zgM— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 19, 2020
Watt notes that the NFL can (and has) mandated players show up despite no agreement between the league and the players association, and there has been no word on an acclimation period, coronavirus testing, preseason games, a 2020 opt-out clause and more.
Several other players throughout the league echoed Watt’s concerns using the #WeWantToPlay hashtag on Twitter. That included Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Mathieu.
Getting ready to report this week hoping the @NFL will come to agreement with the safe and right protocols so we can feel protected playing the sport we love #WeWantToPlay— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) July 19, 2020
It’s not about money it’s about health & safety. Do the right thing @nfl— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) July 19, 2020
Sense a trend.... pic.twitter.com/KJQqo7nKSI— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 19, 2020
A coordinated posting blitz from some of the NFL’s top players calls on the NFL to provide answers and address health concerns. All have the hashtag #WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/BwQtxcnLOq— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 19, 2020
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tried to sum up the league-wide concerns.
That's on top of remaining questions over opt-out language, testing frequency, etc. Clubs are enforcing management rights by setting reporting dates; players must show up or face discipline. If there's a grievance, it'd be over unsafe work environment, as players' posts portend.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 19, 2020
NFLPA president and Browns offensive lineman JC Tretter then tweeted the following:
What you are seeing today is our guys standing up for each other and for the work their union leadership has done to keep everyone as safe as possible. The NFL needs to listen to our union and adopt the experts' recommendations #wewanttoplay— JC Tretter (@JCTretter) July 19, 2020
We’ll see how this might impact Chiefs training camp. Stay tuned.