Video: Rams' Sean McVay Talks COVID-19 Safety Protocols in 'Hard Knocks' Preview

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay speaks during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay urged members of his organization to "be smart" about following COVID-19 safety protocols during the 2020 NFL season.

McVay noted coaches and players must have "respect for this ecosystem" because staying healthy will be just as crucial as scheme-based preparations this year. Here's the complete clip from NFL Films as part of a preview for HBO's Hard Knocks, which will feature L.A.'s Rams and Chargers:

NFL Films @NFLFilms

Nothing says 2020 more than Sean McVay’s new look at training camp.⁣ ⁣ #HardKnocksNow https://t.co/9bzQhwphmn

The NFL moved all offseason activities into a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic and has canceled all preseason games. Training camp opened last week with the hope of kicking off the regular season as scheduled in September.

In July, the league provided guidelines about how to handle COVID-19. Along with standard advice, such as wearing masks and social distancing, it noted players won't be able to leave their hotel rooms while on the road and provided a breakdown of what to do if experiencing symptoms, per ESPN's Dan Graziano.

The NFL's large roster size would make it difficult to develop a "bubble" plan similar to what's being successfully used by the NBA and NHL in their restarts. Meanwhile, MLB's approach has proved that traveling for games leaves open the possibility of an outbreak of positive tests, highlighted by the Miami Marlins having 18 players testing positive and having their season suspended due to postponements.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN's Mike Greenberg (via Ben Volin of Boston Globe) the league knew positive tests would arise but is aiming to avoid large-scale problems.

"All of our medical experts indicated that as testing becomes more prevalent, we are going to have positive tests," Goodell said in June. "The issue is, can we obviously prevent as many of those from happening, but in addition, treat them quickly, isolate them and prevent them from impacting other personnel?"

Hard Knocks, which is entering its 16th season, is set to premiere Aug. 11.

The Rams are scheduled to begin their regular season Sept. 13 against the Dallas Cowboys.