BOSTON (CBS) — Within the past week, multiple members of the Buccaneers tested positive for COVID-19, which was partly responsible for the NFLPA doctor to advise all players that they should not be working out together. Meanwhile, positive tests in the state of Florida continue to surge.
Nevertheless, Tom Brady and his Buccaneers teammates remain undeterred.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Brady led an informal workout session with Buccaneers teammates on Tuesday at Berkeley Prepatory School in Tampa. The workout involved a dozen players and lasted for about two hours, the report said.
“Wearing a helmet, shoulder pads and the orange non-contact jersey, Brady organized the usual assortment of passing drills at the private school that has become their offseason home,” Rick Stroud reported. “The practices have become routine during a time that players are not permitted at NFL team training facilities.”
The NFLPA recommends players stop "practicing together" until the start of training camps in late July. Despite the warning, the #Bucs' Tom Brady and Co. were back at informal practice Tuesday. https://t.co/Wu062Fnhtc
📸: Chris Urso | Tampa Bay Times pic.twitter.com/WCrnN62MaK
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) June 23, 2020
Other players present for the workout included tight end Rob Gronkowski, receiver Chris Godwin, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, center Ryan Jensen, safety Mike Edwards, and cornerback Jamel Dean.
Brady posted photos of the workout to his own Instagram story, including one with his fellow quarterbacks.
Brady and his teammates are not breaking rules by working out together, though they’re clearly ignoring the advice of Dr. Thom Mayer, who is the medical adviser to the NFL Players Association.
“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts,” Mayer wrote to players on Saturday. “Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.”
Dr. Mayer also advised players to not participate in any “voluntary joint practices before training camp commences” in late July.
A message to players from NFLPA Medical Director, Dr. Thom Mayer: pic.twitter.com/4IGlEBhRr9
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) June 20, 2020
The Buccaneers have also been hit with the virus, with “at least two players” testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
Brady, who will turn 43 years old in August, is obviously trying to develop chemistry with his new teammates while learning the new playbook, following his 20-year career in New England. Yet with cases spiking in Florida, and with Bucs head coach Bruce Arians instructing citizens to stay 6 feet apart to protect the community, Brady’s practice sessions will surely open up him and his teammates to criticisms as the NFL attempts to pull off a season in the midst of a pandemic.