The National Football League is currently dealing with a wave of players declining to check-in for the 2020/21 season. However, some players have also declared their intention to participate.
One of the latter is Adrian Peterson, a running back for the Washington Football Team. In an interview with TMZ, he explained that he planned to participate in the coming season as he believed it was the right thing to do.
Peterson shared his comments with the news medium on Tuesday. They caught him at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia where he appeared to be making his way to an aircraft.
The comments were coming as the league begins to work through a possible return schedule amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Peterson pointed out that while there are still concerns, he had to earn his paycheck too. Speaking with the news source, he said:
"Of course [COVID-19] is always a concern, but work is work. We gotta do what we gotta do."
So far, several players have declared that they would not be joining their teams in preparing for the season. They claim that the pandemic's dangers are too grave and they would not want to be in harm's way.
While Peterson is ready, one of his teammates has declined to join the season. Caleb Brantley, Washington's defensive lineman claimed he would be sitting out.
The league won't allow fans in camps and will cancel all preseason games.
NFL players have been rather honest about their perception of the league's efforts so far. On Tuesday, Austin Ekeler, a running back for the Los Angeles Chargers claimed that he was not overly confident.
Ekeler explained that the league had tried to contain the spread of the pandemic. However, things have not quite worked out. He said:
"There's a reason we're going through all these shutdowns and things like that. There's not been really any progress made as far as containing this thing."
Austin Ekeler talks about Melvin Gordon's competitiveness in an interview. | Photo: YouTube/Fair Game
Despite the skepticism, Ekeler claimed that he was going to join the season. The NFL has released a new schedule for the season's training camp. The league will not allow fans in camps and will cancel all preseason games.
Players will also go through several tests. The press release noted that players showing up for training camp would take tests on back-to-back days and self-isolate for a day. Then they return to their team buildings for another test.
With such a high-risk approach, the league is showing that safety is a priority. With training camp beginning on Tuesday, it will be interesting to see how things play out.