BOSTON (CBS) — Like many of us across the country, Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty is adapting to the “new normal.” But he’s also eager to get back to work at some point, with the NFL remaining adamant that they’ll have the 2020 season as scheduled despite the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video conference chat with reporters on Wednesday, McCourty said that heading back to work at Gillette Stadium with his teammates will bring some anxiety, but that’s no different than anything anyone does these days outside of the comfort of their own home.
“I think moving forward, I think we all have fears. I think for me, the fear of going back to work is no different than the fear of walking in a restaurant and sitting down to have dinner,” he said. “So, I think this is something that we’re all going to have to deal with. At some point, we’re going to start back up, Massachusetts and every other state around the country, and some in the South have already begun to open up.
“So, I think as players, we’re going to go through the same fears that a lot of other people in our country are going to go through,” he continued. “You’re going to have to figure it out the best way. When they tell us to come back to work, we have to as individuals make sure, ‘Hey, to my standard, I feel that this is safe enough. I’m ready to commit to it. I’m ready to do it.’ If not, you’ve got to go about whatever you feel is best for your family.”
McCourty has been at Gillette for some rehab work after undergoing offseason groin surgery. He’s following the safety guidelines put in place, which involve wearing a mask and limiting the number of people involved. In that sense, his rehab sessions have had a “normal” feel to them — at least in regards to everything else around the country.
“I guess, what constitutes as weird has dramatically changed throughout the last few months,” said McCourty. “We’ve been in it so long that this has become rather normal to us at this point.”
Heading into the office hasn’t really provided an escape from what is going on, either.
“Not really because when we’re there, there’s nothing to talk about other than quarantine life. So, I don’t think it really is a break to take from it,” he said. “I think obviously the state of Massachusetts for the most part, Phase One is starting back up, but everything is mostly shut down. So, we’re all still doing the same thing, and it’s kind of throughout the country, like when we get on our virtual meetings, guys are all kind of doing the same thing. You’re finding your window or your time where you go work out, whether that’s at a field, whether you know someone that owns a gym and it’s just maybe you and that person, we’re all kind of doing the same thing right now because you can’t be out an about. So, you go and you get your workout in, you come home and you’re there all day until you go and do the same thing the next day.”
It was reported Tuesday that the NFL could start allowing coaches back in team facilities as early as next week, and minicamps with players could start to be scheduled as early as mid-June.