How Packers Can Avoid Becoming Marlins or Cardinals of the NFL
Green Bay Packers’ season is underway. Virtual meetings are happening and teams are slowly starting to welcome players back to the facility. Packers have not seen any further COVID-related issues besides Jace Sternberger and Mason Crosby. Neither Crosby nor Sternberger tested positive per our knowledge, but they may have or in close contact with someone who had COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Packers are on the low end of the NFL teams with COVID issues. That said, Packers need to ensure it doesn’t become a problem. Per Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst’s comments, Packers seem aware that they cannot live their lives like normal unless they want to be the Miami Marlins or St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL.
Gutekunst absolutely crushed this answer in response to a question about the need for people to be responsible away from the facility. This is a man walking the tightrope of needing to do a job and knowing it's insane he's being asked to do so given the current environment. pic.twitter.com/WFybnjq2pj
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) August 3, 2020
From all accounts, Cardinals, and Marlins played fast and loose with their off-the-field activities. Reports came in about Marlins being at a night club, and Cardinals spending time at a casino. Each played a role in the increased cases across the organization. These should be warning signs to the Packers that they cannot live their lives as they did last year. They’re not any different than you or I though. All of us have had to make adjustments to our lives, and professional athletes are no different. Cardinals and Marlins showed personal accountability is hard, therefore, Packers need to have their leaders set guidelines for everyone.
One thing that gives me hope with the Packers is they seemed to be a tight-knit unit hanging out outside of football. That can still happen and should almost more. Drown out the ability to go to bars, clubs, casinos with team hangouts. Although those should probably stay limited to 15 or fewer people to ensure safety. Thankfully, Green Bay and Milwaukee do not have a huge nightclub scene to get wrapped up in.
Cardinals and Marlins’ outbreaks led to more NFL opt-outs without question. But what they also probably did was make players realize this is not a normal season and things can’t be the same as they were last year.