Quarantine Coming For Carson?
Doug Pederson held a Zoom conference with reporters Monday, less than 24 hours after the team confirmed an ESPN report that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Pederson said he felt great with a "high energy level" and "really, no symptoms whatsoever," but wouldn't comment directly on where or how he contracted Covid-19, or pin a timetable on his return. He's currently quarantined away from family. The fifth-year head coach insisted that NovaCare Complex remains a safe, healthy environment for all players and coaches but was careful to explain that he understands the severity of the virus and that different people are impacted differently.
"I appreciate everyone’s well wishes," he said. "I know this virus effects people differently. I'm very respectful and mindful of that. I'm very fortunate, I do know and understand this virus attacks people a little differently." Pederson also talked about contingency plans in his absence, his quarterbacks, the inevitability of Covid-19 impacting the season in some fashion, and his outlook for the NFL playing through the pandemic. Here are some takeaways from his Zoom session:
Despite being away from team headquarters, Pederson is still communicating with staff and players virtually, and will continue to until he returns. Pederson said he had just finished up meetings with players and groups before his Zoom session with reporters. He will communicate daily with assistant head coach Duce Staley, who'll carry out the head coach's plans when the team is on the field, which right now is for walk-throughs. Pederson said he was fortunate to catch the virus at a time when coaches can do very little on the field with players as opposed to during the regular season. The Eagles aren't in pads for about two more weeks and are still in the early stages of an elongated strength-and-conditioning tier of training camp. "Our goals don’t change obviously," he said. "We’re gonna continue to press forward one day at a time."
In light of his own illness, and some other high-profile NFL players going on Reserve/Covid-19, including Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Pederson was asked if he would consider quarantine for his quarterbacks when they're inside the building for extra safeguarding at the game's most important position. Pederson certainly left the door open. "I think we know that these things are going to happen throughout the course of the season," he said. "If it happens – and you hope it happens early enough where you don’t get to the regular season – these conversations are ongoing ... haven't decided anything yet on that, obviously, but it is something to consider."
Mr. Bright Side
While acknowledging the threat of a coronavirus spread will persist throughout camp and the season, Pederson remained staunchly optimistic that the NFL will have a season and that the Eagles are safe at the NovaCare Complex. Pederson is typically a glass-half-full type, so it's not surprising that he echoed a positive sentiment about the NFL's ability to play through a pandemic, but he also said he spent time this summer thinking of contingency plans in case players and coaches are further impacted by the virus. "My confidence hasn’t changed at all," he said. "I'm extremely optimistic. I feel like we’re gonna play. I'm confident we're going to play. Like I told my team [Sunday] night, [the virus] holds no prejudices. It can affect anyone of us. It's just the fact that we've got to abide by the protocol in place. They're in place for a reason."
Pederson was asked about the Saints' strategy of setting up a voluntary sequester for Tier 1 and 2 employees as another safeguard. He said the team already has a training camp hotel -- the Courtyard Marriott in the Navy Yards -- where players can choose to stay, but Pederson deferred to the collective agreement between the league and players that allows players to the opportunity to go their homes.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the Inside the Birds podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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