Darius Slay comfortable now with playing season after initially feeling NFL shouldn’t play
When the COVID-19 pandemic was settling in through the spring and into summer, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay did not think that a 2020 NFL seasons should go forward.
“My true opinion, I felt like we shouldn’t even have (a season), just because of what was going on,” Slay said, via Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “It’s a difficult time.
“We shouldn’t have one. But it is what it is. We’ll go to work and get it done. If there’s a way we can play, I’ll go play.”
Despite the initial trepidation surrounding the safety and logistics of playing an NFL season amid a global pandemic, Slay became more at ease with the protocols the NFL and the Eagles had put in place to try and mitigate the chances of spread.
“I was just basically saying when (COVID) first came out, we shouldn’t have a season,” Slay said. “They came up with a great game plan to have us in the building. Before then I was thinking to myself, ‘How are they going to do this? How are they going to find a way for us to not have this? How are they going to know who has it?’ So now I feel comfortable doing it because of the fact that I’m getting tested every day. Because I have kids so I had to make sure my kids and my wife are all OK.”
The Tennessee Titans have had the biggest issue so far this season with spread as an outbreak within their team forced the postponement of one game already and a scheduled game with the Buffalo Bills this weekend also being in question. The NFL could levy heavy penalties against the team for not following the protocols in place originally and then for a group of players congregating for an impromptu workout last week when they were supposed to be isolating to quell further spread.
Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots have recently had bouts with the virus as well. These positives highlight the challenges the league will have in getting the full 256-game NFL regular slate played in the allotted 17-week time frame.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Slay said. “It’s going to take all of us. … But we all make sacrifices and we made them. I think our staff and our team and the Eagles are doing a great job of just securing us, making sure we’re doing the right thing and I think everybody’s kind of committed to doing their job to make sure we’re able to play Sunday. We’ll continue to keep knocking on wood, we didn’t have a sickness here yet, so we’ll continue to keep trying to find a way.”