FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 27th, 2020

PETER KING DISCUSSES THE NFL’S COVID-19 PLAN AS TRAINING CAMPS OPEN IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN

“With the ability to push playoffs back if need be, Goodell may want to create an extra week at the back end of the regular season for one or more games to be rescheduled.” – King on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell potentially postponing games

“Players who get sick and feel sick will likely miss two games. If players testing positive feel no symptoms for days, they’d have a chance after two negative tests to return after missing one.” – King on procedures for players testing positive

“Credit to Roger. All year, he’s pressed ahead – with the labor deal, free agency, the draft, and now training camp…Every single time he’s been right.” – A team official on Commissioner Roger Goodell

“This was an extraordinary opportunity for us. Jamal’s a legitimate impact player, in the style we love.” – Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on trading for safety Jamal Adams

STAMFORD, Conn. – July 27, 2020 – As training camps begin to open this week, Peter King discusses the NFL’s plan for the 2020 season in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also looks at the trade of Jamal Adams from the Jets to the Seahawks and speaks with Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.

Across NBC Sports this week, PFT Live featuring Mike Florio and Chris Simms airs from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET every weekday on NBCSN, with NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison making his weekly guest appearance this Wednesday. ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest offseason news, the Rotoworld Football Podcast prepares for the upcoming season, and Simms speaks with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast.

The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:

COVID-19 PLANS

King on the NFL season: “As training camps begin this week and the NFL barrels full-speed ahead to some kind of a season, this is like no time in NFL history. The union and its medical team, and the league and its medical team, made a collaborative deal on training-camp working conditions after a mish-mashed offseason of no practice or organized workouts.”

King on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s role: “He’s planning for every alternative; you just won’t hear him talk about the alternatives. I think he’ll have the power to make decisions about competitive fairness in the best interests of the game.”

King on Goodell potentially postponing games: “I doubt he’d make a team forfeit if it had a mass outbreak; in that case, my bet is he’d postpone a game, or two max. Any more than that and you’d have to think that team might not play a full 16-game schedule…With the ability to push playoffs back if need be, Goodell may want to create an extra week at the back end of the regular season for one or more games to be rescheduled.”

King on if there is a set number of positive tests needed to postpone a game: “I think Goodell is more inclined to not draw a line in the sand, but rather to take things on a case-by-case basis. Four starting offensive linemen on a team testing positive is different than single players from four positions groups testing positive.”

King on the relationship between the NFL and NFLPA: “The key to this training-camp deal getting done, I believe, was the NFLPA understanding that the league would not enter a season guaranteeing veteran contracts for the year if vets were active in Week 1, and if the pandemic forced a league closure in Week 4 or 6 or 8…The two sides seem to be in a good place in case the game goes haywire this fall.”

A team official to King on Goodell: “Credit to Roger. All year, he’s pressed ahead – with the labor deal, free agency, the draft, and now training camp. The thought process is, Why postpone it? There’s no reason to think by pushing these things back the virus will go away. Every single time he’s been right.”

King on the impact of COVID-19 on undrafted rookies: “Team after team over the weekend pared previously signed camp bodies, undrafted prospects, because many teams preferred 80-man rosters. Any more than that, and coaches would have to have a separate practice/workout schedule for the extras.”

ON TESTING AND DISTANCING

King on roster terminology: “The league began using a category Sunday called “reserve/COVID-19,” which will be used on players who either test positive or have been quarantined after being in close contact with an infected person. The NFL will not announce which category the player falls into.”

King on positive tests: “Players who get sick and feel sick will likely miss two games. If players testing positive feel no symptoms for days, they’d have a chance after two negative tests to return after missing one.”

King on tracing within team facilities: “Players will be contact-traced through a device they will wear daily, and if it’s found they’ve been in close contact with a player, coach or staffer who has tested positive, they’ll have to test immediately and follow a separate protocol.”

King on distancing rules for players: “Players can’t attend indoor night clubs, indoor bars, house parties, indoor concerts, professional sporting events, or indoor church services that allow attendance above 25 percent of capacity. Players can be fined for violating these rules, and if they test positive after doing any of those, they won’t be paid for the games they miss.”

Lions LB Jamie Collins to King: “We gotta find a way to get all 90 guys to do the right thing. That’s hard. New guys, rookies, might want to get out and party. It’s not just about one person. You bleed together, you sweat together, you do not want to play with vets’ money.”

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler to King: “A lot of it comes down to the responsibility of the players. It sucks, but we are going to have to distance ourselves from our fans and in some cases from our family. Our job depends on our availability. It’ll take some sacrifice. But if we want to go back to work, it’s really gonna come down to putting ourselves in our own little bubble.”

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll to King on what he will tell his team: “Rule number one here: Always protect the team. I’ll convey the degree of discipline we need here, every day. I’ll tell them your conscience is important; your conscience has to guide you.”

JAMAL ADAMS & PETE CARROLL

King on the Jets trading safety Jamal Adams to Seattle: “I believe GM Joe Douglas would have hung onto Adams and forced him to come to camp, even after his rip-job of coach Adam Gase to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News on Friday. But two first-round picks made that point moot. I agree that the deal was too good to walk away from.”

King on the Jets: “They’ve got to stop throwing away good players, and they’ve got to start building the type of culture and team that attracts good players instead of repelling them. On the bright side, New York is in the best reconstruction position of any NFL team in the next two drafts.”

King on the Seahawks: “This was about getting a premier player, but also a player it has to pay – and probably right now. But there’s no question (general manager John) Schneider and (Pete) Carroll look at the composition of the roster and the draft a little differently than most teams…Seattle, which wheels and deals its traditionally low first-round picks, has drafted five players in the top 45 since 2014.”

King: “Even if the price for Adams seems high (it is), the Seahawks are the rare team that pays for the player even when most teams would say they’re overpaying…With stars Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner not coming up for new deals, it’s clear they can find room for Adams.”

Pete Carroll to King on the Adams trade: “We haven’t had a shot at a top-10 pick in a while, and we haven’t had a shot at a top safety in the draft since Earl (Thomas). This was an extraordinary opportunity for us. Jamal’s a legitimate impact player, in the style we love.”

Carroll on his attitude heading into the season: “I’m about as optimistic a person as you’ll find. With big challenges and hurdles, how do you handle it? How resilient? Can you keep hope alive? Life is hard, football is hard, and this is adding an element none of us ever had to deal with.”

Carroll on no preseason games: “If this is what it is, we’ll take it on. No preseason games? Every college football team, their first game is their first game of the year. No problem for me. It’s an opportunity.”

NFL NOTES

King on the Super Bowl in Tampa: “The game is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Tampa. The league certainly would want the game to be played with at least some fans and with the sort of pageantry that accompanies the biggest sports event on the calendar. We’re at least two months from serious consideration about the site of the Super Bowl, but it’s something in a year with so much in flux that you have to understand it could be in play if, eight or nine weeks from now, Florida and Tampa-St. Petersburg in particular are hot spots.”

King on Chicago trading tight end Adam Shaheen to Miami: “Chicago GM Ryan Pace trading tight end Adam Shaheen – a second-round pick in 2017 who never ascended to even decency, in part because of injury – for a conditional sixth-round pick is another black mark on the Bears’ personnel record. Let’s just say that Bear success in the 2020 season is vital for Pace’s future.”

King on Woody Johnson and the Jets: “Of course it’s easy to say the Jets should keep Christopher Johnson atop the organization whenever Woody Johnson relinquishes the ambassador job, but it’s more practical as well. You cannot have prospective players – Black and white both – wondering whether the owner of the team said derogatory things about the race of people that accounts for more than 70 percent of the NFL rank-and-file.”

Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.

The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:

    • PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Chris Simms airs from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET weekdays on NBCSN. NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison will make his weekly guest appearance on PFT Live this Wednesday.
    • com: ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest offseason news and updates.
    • The Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and Rotoworld Football Podcast continue to preview and prepare for the upcoming NFL season.

 

A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.

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