The NFLPA's recommendation to not hold group workouts prior to the start of training camp later this summer seems to have fallen on deaf ears down in Tampa Bay. According to the Rick Shroud Tampa Bay Times, new Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady held a two-hour workout with at least a dozen of his new teammates at the Berkely Prep School on Tuesday morning. These workouts have become the norm for Brady and the Buccaneers, but it does come after NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer sent out a message to players over the weekend, recommending the stoppage of any group workouts.
Dr. Mayer's message was sparked due to a noticeable uptick in COVID-19 diagnoses across the league. it was revealed last week that a number of Cowboys and Texans players tested positive for the coronavirus along with a member of the 49ers, who was working out with his teammates down in Nashville. The increase in cases has even spread into Brady's backyard as the Buccaneers announced on Saturday that "there have been individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the AdventHealth Training Center."
"Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in Covid-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts. Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months," Dr. Mayer said in his statement.
"We are working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season, and believe that it is in the best interest of all players that we advise against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences."
As Shroud notes, Brady's practice sessions have grown substantially since its inception a few months ago. Joining the regulars consisting of receivers Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller along with center Ryan Jensen and tight end Rob Gronkowski are corners Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting along, and safety Mike Edwards. Quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin have also been at the workouts.
Of course, nothing about what Brady and his Bucs teammates are doing is technically illegal from an NFL standpoint as the NFLPA's recommendation is simply that. It just declines to follow the recommendation by the NFLPA's leading medical mind. Under Florida's Phase 2 guidelines, all persons in the state are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 people, which seems to be well under the number of people Brady is bringing about.
With traditional offseason workouts derailed due to the pandemic this offseason, these sessions that Brady is spearheading is unquestionably pivotal to the Buccaneers getting off to a hot start as the six-time Super Bowl champion begins his new tenure in Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers are scheduled to report to training camp on July 21.