As a leaguewide COVID-19 outbreak makes its way through the NFL, at least one of the players affected seems less than enthused with how the situation has been handled and with the league’s protocols.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield — one of 20 players on his team in the league’s COVID protocols along with coach Kevin Stefanski — sounded off on Twiter on Thursday.
MORE: Browns‘ QB depth chart with Mayfield, Keenum in COVID protocols
Notably, Mayfield told the NFL to “make up your damn mind” about the protocols and said that player safety concerns are secondary to the league.
@NFL Make up your damn mind on protocols. Showing up and making only 3 teams test?!? All so you can keep the game as scheduled to make money.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) December 16, 2021
The league announced new protocols Thursday.
They include an indoor masking requirement, a ban on certain in-person meetings and a new way to test out of protocols.
MORE: NFL COVID tracker
Despite the memo saying the new protocols were to begin “effective immediately,” there is a belief that players currently on the list won’t be subject to the new protocols.
Sills emphasized on the call they’re not loosening the standards here — they’re looking to detect whether someone has a substantial amount of virus to infect others. Those who don’t, and have recovered themselves (i.e. symptoms), now can potentially return to the field sooner.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 16, 2021
As of now, Mayfield’s point about the NFL keeping the game as scheduled seems to be valid. The league has remained firm in its policy from earlier this season that games won’t be rescheduled because of COVID.
The NFL’s stance isn’t expected to change anytime soon, either.
Asked if—with the increasing positive COVID-19 tests on the #Browns—the NFL has considered postponing the game Saturday.
The NFL responded with:
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) December 16, 2021
DECOURCY: NFL should be appluaded for COVID mitigation efforts
This is in spite of the fact that the NFL Players Association has been vocal about wanting Browns-Raiders postponed and going so far as to call for the league to stop play entirely for the week. Mayfield’s teammate J.C. Tretter is president of the NFLPA.
Also, the NFLPA is currently pushing aggressively for a postponement of the Raiders-Browns game on Saturday. Some in the union believe the entire season should shut down for a week. The union is concerned about player safety and game integrity.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 16, 2021
With the game in less than 48 hours and the possibility of more players entering protocols between now and then, it’s possible the NFL will soften its stance.
But even if it doesn’t, Mayfield likely won’t mince words when he speaks again.