LA Rams News: Will LA Rams All-Pro Aaron Donald opt-out of the 2020 NFL season?
So the LA Rams 2020 NFL season timetable starts the clock when NFL teams begin training camp. With it, comes the thrill for fans of another season of professional football. But what of the professional athletes? However, you are exercising care to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, medical professionals continue to emphasize the need for facial masks, social distancing, and frequent and thorough washing. We are all making those choices. Recent discussions between the NFL and the NFLPA are about giving football players options.
What are those options? In the current ‘no cure yet” environment, the risks of contracting COVID-19 continue to bring the risks of fatalities. Not just to players, but to the wives, girlfriends, children, parents, and siblings of players. The disease can be asymptomatic to persons who test positive. Those persons can then unknowingly infect others. And that’s exactly what the NFL is discussing with the NFLPA, how to minimize the risk.
But each choice is a personal one. After all, the risk is born not of the player, but anyone the player comes in contact with on a regular basis. That umbrellas of risk may be acceptable to some, unacceptable to others.
Other professional sports have agreed to allow players to opt-out of their 2020 season. Right now, major league baseball players are making headlines by opting out. When the NFL football season arrives, who might opt-out for the LA Rams? Don’t be surprised if All-Pro Aaron Donald weighs the decision to play heavily, even to the point of opting out in 2020.
Risks are too great
Aaron Donald is an elite NFL football player. He’s the best at his position and he may even be the best of the sport for many years to come. He plays football, is in a long-term relationship with the lovely Jaelynn Blakey, and is the father to two children: a daughter Jaeda and son Aaron Jr.
From the moment Aaron Donald steps onto the football field, Jaelynn, Jaeda, and Aaron are counting on the NFL to keep him safe. And discussions about that are ongoing. One option is to “sequester” players and coaches in a coronavirus free location. In other reports, NFL families will be required to restrict their activities to NFL approved events. Even shopping may be limited.
Planning for today, and tomorrow
While everything is on the table, nothing is yet decided. To some players, the plan may involve too many restrictions or too little assurances. It’s critical for the NFL/NFLPA to extend the opt-out option to players. The sport must balance the needs of the present to the needs of the future. The only true way to do so is to afford anyone with concerns a legitimate off-ramp.
While a season without Aaron Donald, or any LA Rams star player, will be disappointing, a season where any LA Rams players are suddenly afflicted with COVID-19 would be far far worse. It’s a balancing act, one of putting off immediate gratification for a brighter future. Can the LA Rams succeed in 2020 without Aaron Donald?
Perhaps that is the wrong question. Perhaps the wiser question is whether the team should place the 2021 season and beyond at risk of no Aaron Donald, just to have him play in 2020.