When the Miami Dolphins’ training facility in Davie reopens, they could be missing at least one player.
Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux recently told the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “I’ll feel safe playing, knowing if there’s something that can help this coronavirus. But I wouldn’t feel safe right now. If you say, ‘tomorrow we’re going to OTAs,’ I wouldn’t feel 100 percent safe.”
He added, “I’m home. I’m active. I’ve got a good immune system. I take that into mind, but I wouldn’t feel 100 percent safe. No, I wouldn’t.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave teams permission to reopen this week. He allowed a limited number of team personnel members and only players recovering from injuries to be present, while they continue observing state guidelines, social distancing and other coronavirus precautions.
For now, Miami will continue to hold virtual team meetings.
However, Goodell adds that players and coaches could return “in a relatively short time” after the first phase of opening, which began on May 18.
.@ChauxDown has turned into a fifth-round steal for the #MiamiDolphins. He's never forgotten when he was drafted and he certainly won't forget it now — or ever.https://t.co/fu5vOzsKu4
— Alain Poupart (@apoupartFins) May 15, 2020
One thing we can count on with the NFL, unlike other sports leagues, is that it actually has a start date.
The NFL preseason is scheduled to begin in August, while the regular-season opening is set for the second week of September.
In addition to ensuring that adequate testing measures are in place, the NFL will also need to figure out how to deal with players sharing close, communal spaces such as locker rooms, restrooms and showers at practice facilities and stadiums.
At least four NFL figures have contracted coronavirus.
They include New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Denver Broncos defender Von Miller, Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen, andWashington Redskins rookie receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden.
Godchaux remains excited about the season, though. He explains, “The team just wants everybody to stay safe. If we do that, we come back in shape, and everybody comes back on the same page, it’s sky’s the limit.”
Time will tell!