Remember when winning Super Bowls was going to be the Eagles’ “new normal?”
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson made that pronouncement in the aftermath of his historic Super Bowl LII triumph. On Monday, Pederson invoked the same phrase in a very different context.
Pederson’s faith in the viability of the NFL’s plan for opening training camps this week, and then playing a 16-game season, seemed undaunted, despite the coronavirus outbreak on baseball’s Miami Marlins that caused that team to be quarantined in Philadelphia and postponed Monday’s Marlins-Orioles and Yankees-Phillies games.
“The protocols that the NFL has put into place with the players’ association, the agreement there … it gives us excitement moving forward,” Pederson said on a Zoom call with reporters. “We understand that the virus is real, and we do everything we can, in our power, to stay safe, protecting ourselves when we’re in the building, protecting our players. It’s unfortunate what has happened, but we do have a lengthy set of protocols that we have to abide by, and this is our new normal, right now. We’re working in these conditions, as probably most of you are working in your conditions as well.
“It’s something we’re going to embrace. We’re going to make it a positive. It is what it is, and we’re going to embrace it.”
Asked another question about the Marlins outbreak, and whether he thinks the NFL is looking at Major League Baseball’s experience to help guide it through these uncharted waters, Pederson said he is mostly concerned with getting the Eagles ready to play.
“I know the guys that are higher up than me are watching that, our doctors and medical team at the NFL, they are watching all this stuff. They will be prepared,” Pederson said.
Pederson said he was not allowed to say whether any Eagles have tested positive for the coronavirus. Rookies and select veterans have reported and begun testing, with the bulk of the roster due to report by Tuesday. Testing, followed by strength-and-conditioning work will push normal training camp practice back, with the players not taking the field in pads until Aug. 17.
Pederson was asked whether he felt safe mingling with coaches, staffers, and 80 players this week, and whether staff and players were going to be safe.
“I feel extremely safe,” said Pederson, 52, who is embarking on his fifth season as head coach. “Obviously, coming into it, there might have been some skepticism about the testing and the screening that goes on. But this is very thorough.”
Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker, Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar and Washington wide receiver Cody Latimer were put on the NFL’s Commissioner Exempt List on Monday while facing felony charges from offseason incidents.
A player on the Commissioner Exempt List cannot practice or play in games but does get paid. He can be at the team’s facility “on a reasonable basis” for meetings, individual workouts, therapy, rehab and other non-football activities if given team permission.
... Vikings vice president of sports medicine Eric Sugarman, who’s in charge of the organization’s virus prevention plan, has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Monday.
In a statement from the Vikings, Sugarman said he and his family members immediately quarantined themselves and began following the NFL’s appropriate protocols after testing positive over the weekend.
... 49ers postseason breakout star, running back Raheem Mostert, reworked his contract after previously requesting a trade.
Agent Brett Tessler announced the new deal Monday that ensures Mostert will report to camp with his teammates later this week.
He led the 49ers in rushing with 772 yards and ranked second in the NFL to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson by averaging 5.64 yards per carry.