The NFL in 2020 has developed in recent days an experimental vibe, especially as the experiment that is Major League Baseball threatens to end up like Peter Brady’s volcano.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has picked up on that sense that it’s all one big experiment, and he’s keenly aware of the players’ role in the effort.
“I think that’s what this period is right now, it’s like, in my eyes, a trial period,” Ekeler told TMZ. “I felt like, somewhat like a lab rat to see if this will work or not.”
So will it work?
“I’m not confident in the entire system because it is so contagious,” Ekeler said. “There’s a reason we’re going through all these shutdowns and things like that. There’s not been really any progress made as far as containing this thing.”
There’s been little progress because people have failed to adjust their behavior to account for the realities of the virus. If people had taken it seriously from the get go, covering their faces to limit the spread of the virus and covering their ears to ignore the voices of those in the media telling them it was no big deal, we’d be on the other side of the worst of it by now, like so many other countries. Or like every other country.
Despite Ekeler’s concerns, he says he won’t be opting out of the 2020 season.
“The thing is, what I can be is just confident in myself and I know I’m going to try my best to isolate and not be around anybody,” Ekeler said. “I’m just taking it day by day and I’m not gonna say that [the 2020 season] can’t happen, but I’m just saying that we need to protect ourselves first before we can continue moving forward.”
That all makes sense, until the games start. At that point, it will become impossible — especially for a running back — to isolate himself. At that point, the NFL’s experiment officially begins.