Rams’ Sean McVay: ‘I Don’t Get’ How We’ll Play Football While Social Distancing

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay watches during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay questioned how teams will maintain social distancing protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic while also playing out the 2020 NFL season, per Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal.

“We’re gonna social distance, but we play football?” McVay said. “It’s really hard for me to understand all this. I don’t get it. I really don’t.”

McVay’s comments come 10 days after the NFL and NFLPA released a list of protocols players must follow when they return to team facilities.

Those directives include maintaining six feet of separation from anyone at all times in the facility, including locker rooms.

Clubs have been mandated to “reconfigure” locker rooms to make it easier for the six-foot rule to be followed.

The protocol’s practicality has received some criticism, with Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh saying that completely following them is “humanly impossible,” per Nick Shook of NFL.com.

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said Wednesday that protocols are still being developed and that’s he’s told concerned teams “it won’t feel normal because it won’t be normal,” per Shook.

McVay’s remarks also dropped after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta about the practicality of holding the 2020 NFL season during the pandemic:

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble—insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day—it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall. If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”

Sills is against a bubble idea.

“We do not feel it’s practical or appropriate to construct a bubble,” Sills said Wednesday, via Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. “Anyone who tests positive will be isolated until medically appropriate to return.”

He also issued a statement Thursday in response to Dr. Fauci, per Pelissero:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, responding to comments today from Dr. Anthony Fauci that it would be difficult to have a football season if players aren’t isolated in a bubble: https://t.co/vghyou8HyK

The Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will be the subjects of this year’s Hard Knocks series on HBO, per ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. The two teams will be playing their first year in SoFi Stadium this upcoming season.

The Rams will be the first team to host a regular-season game there with the Dallas Cowboys coming to town for Sunday Night Football on Sept. 13.

Read More