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Arians suggests NFL’s COVID-19 protocols are better than MLB’s

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Tampa Bay’s head coach provides some insight on how players will be managed during away games.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By now, we all know the position Major League Baseball and it’s players are in with their COVID-19 outbreaks. Their protocols appear to have been full of holes but the NFL doesn’t expect that to be the case.

Well, at least not Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Arians was asked about how confident he is now compared to when he made the comments in June that nearly all players will get the coronavirus. With the NFL and NFLPA implementing strict guidelines to help prevent any outbreaks or limit the amount of players that get sick, Arians admits he is no longer concerned like he was before.

“Right now, I don’t think they will [get sick],” Arians said. “Once I saw the protocols and what is in place here at the facility – and testing on Friday – we shouldn’t be playing against anybody that’s sick on Sunday. There might be a rare occurrence. I feel very comfortable that they won’t get sick in the football atmosphere. If they’re going to get sick, it’s going to be outside the building.”

In order to make sure that is in fact the case, the Bucs will be cracking down on players who disobey the rules.

“There are penalties in place [for going against protocols] right now,” said Arians. “I kind of trust our guys right now. When we travel there will be no going to restaurants or going out. We’ll be sequestered in the hotel that we’re at, play the game and get home. It’s so much different than baseball where you’re sitting in the city for four days, going to restaurants [and] going out than it is for football. Very seldom are we in the town for more than 28 hours.”

So players can’t hit up Willie Mae’s on St. Ann St. in New Orleans the night of September 12 before the game Sunday?

Sorry, JPP. At least they deliver.

The protocols in place have made Arians feel much more at ease given his high-risk health status. Because of it, the 67-year-old says they have made him comfortable enough to continue coaching like normal.

“Yeah, I think I made those [players getting sick comments] in June before I knew anything about what was going to happen. Now, I’m totally convinced it’s good or I wouldn’t be here.”