Browns J.C. Tretter seeking to protect players, fans from Covid-19

CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 22: Center JC Tretter #64 of the Cleveland Browns watches from the sidelines during the second half against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 22, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Giants 17-13. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 22: Center JC Tretter #64 of the Cleveland Browns watches from the sidelines during the second half against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 22, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Giants 17-13. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Facing Covid as well as wrathful owners simultaneously is kind of like having to block Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, as Browns center and NFLPA president J.C. Tretter knows 

Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter is normally tasked with protecting quarterback Baker Mayfield from oncoming pass rushers, but as President of the National Football League Player’s Association, he has to block for the entire league, which is once again threatened by an oncoming blitz from Covid-19.

This year, it’s Delta Variant which is grabbing most of the headlines.

In this fan’s opinion the NFLPA saved the season in 2020 because if the owners had had their way, the entire season would have collapsed. The fans would have been the real losers. There’s a chance it could happen the same way again.

The owners may mean well, but they are a group of old dudes who are used to getting their way.  Well, Covid viruses don’t care how famous you are. So, the owners are tired of Covid-19. Their plan is to stop testing for it, or reduce testing to weekly instead of daily, and just hope that the problem goes away.

Then they will be utterly shocked to find out that the disease has spread while no one was testing for it. How can this be? The billionaire tycoons will ponder this question and be utterly baffled and perplexed.

Perhaps, sirs, if you will authorize testing for the problem you will become aware of it sooner. Testing does not cause Covid-19, it simply reveals the problem that already exists. All the numbers say that the Delta variant is more contagious than the original variant, not less contagious.

While vaccination provides protection from the severity of the symptoms it does not provide complete immunity. The inescapable conclusion is that no matter what action is taken, NFL players are going to get Covid-19 and especially the Delta variant. Some will show no symptoms, others will indeed get sick. Others, especially the unvaccinated players, will get significantly sick. But without frequent testing, the disease will spread much further than if testing is more frequent.

This fan is not a medical expert, but from what we know, the majority of players are vaccinated. Even for teams such as Tampa Bay and Atlanta that are 100% vaccinated, there are still likely to be several players who will test positive for the virus over the course of the season, although the severity of the symptoms will probably be limited, and the quarantine requirements will be much reduced from last season.

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If a vaccinated player tests positive for COVID-19, the player must isolate immediately, until he (1) returns two negative tests and (2) has no symptoms is asymptomatic for 48 hours. If the player never has any symptoms, has two negative tests 24 hours apart. In other words, they could theoretically rejoin the team within two or three days after testing positive.

A really big difference is that if the vaccinated player comes into contact with someone who tests positive, they don’t automatically go into isolation. That player has to be tested daily, but as long as their test comes back negative and they are not displaying any symptoms they are okay to play. So one guy testing positive does not wipe out the entire room full of wide receivers like last season.

As for unvaccinated players, the rules are the same as last year. If the unvaccinated player tests positive, that player must isolate for 10 days minimum, even if he has no symptoms.

If experiencing symptoms, the player must isolate for at least 10 days and cannot return until (1) at least 24 hours have passed since his fever goes away, (2) other symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath have improved; and (3) return approved by the club physician. For players with symptoms, there is a three to seven-day (or longer) rehab protocol before they return to team training.

If an unvaccinated player has “high risk” close contact with a COVID-positive individual, the
player must isolate for five days with daily testing. If each test comes back negative, only then may they return to the facility. This is how you

The owners, bless their stone-cold hearts, would just like for Covid-19 to go away. Their plan to make this happen is to reduce testing as much as possible. Originally they had opted to shift from daily testing to testing every two weeks.

Is the problem that those poor poverty-stricken owners can not afford frequent testing for Covid-19? If so, take out a Go-Fund-Me app and explain your case to the American people and I’m sure we can take care of it for you.

Or, do the owners actually believe that they can solve the problem by ignoring it and hoping it will go away?

Last season, the owners’ initial plan was to ignore Covid-19 completely and simply suspend players without pay if tested positive for Covid-19. This season, the owners’ plan is to cancel games and punish unvaccinated players for it. Again, another positively brilliant plan.

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It’s so clear that they need someone like J.C. Tretter to help them get organized and to tell them what a compassionate and sensible approach is, because our beloved owners have no clue.