[Source] - "I'm not confident in the entire system because it is so contagious," Ekeler 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."
Just to be clear, Ekeler isn't going after the NFL's handling of the pandemic -- he's just saying pointing out the country ain't exactly in the clear yet.
FYI, Ekeler is set to report to training camp Tuesday (today) -- just days after MLB confirmed a COVID outbreak with the Miami Marlins that some say could tank the entire MLB season.
"I felt like, somewhat like a lab rat to see if this will work or not."
I may have a soft spot for Austin Ekeler after winning me a fantasy league or two last year (I know, no one gives a shit) but this is one of the better, more honest interviews regarding an athlete and coronavirus. I still have no idea how the hell someone like Ekeler or any football player is supposed to social distance during a game. Baseball I get. But football, you literally have to tackle another human being.
And I know it's tougher to create a bubble for football, but I don't hate this guys idea:
Assuming there's no fans in the stands - at least to start the season - why the hell not? Play the divisional games or set up pods across the state. There's a billion MAC stadiums plus Cleveland, Cincinnati and Ohio State. More than enough football stadiums to host games without fans. Obviously you just don't put the Browns in Cleveland or the Bengals in Cincinnati (not that it would matter for those two teams anyways) to create fair balance. Put the NFC East in Cincinnati. Put the NFC South in Akron. Put the NFC West in Toledo, etc. Just give us football. If dudes are willing to play, give us football.
But I get what Ekeler is saying here. You see MLB failing right now when they are not in the bubble. You see NBA/MLS working in the bubble so far. Although that's a direct shot at Goodell, right? Saying he doesn't trust the system - not that I blame him. Not like Goodell has done a lot of great for players.
Just please, please, give us all the sports. We need football. I need basketball.