No Cleveland Browns player should feel forced to play in 2020.
We live in some peculiar times. The outbreak of COVID-19 is entering its fifth month and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all. If the current major league baseball season is any sign of things to come, for at least the world of sports, there’s no guarantee that a non-bubble system works. So if there are NFL players league-wide, or specifically on the Cleveland Browns who want to opt-out of playing until a vaccine can be developed, there should be no one who has a problem with that.
It’s that person’s individual right to put their health and the health of their family ahead of a game. Which, at the end of the day, is all football truly is. A simple game.
When news broke on Wednesday that two Cleveland Browns players, Drew Forbes and Drake Dorbeck opted out of the 2020 season, it wasn’t completely unexpected. Both men have their reasons and both men are capable of making informed and educated decisions. There should be no issue with their opting out. Sure, Forbes’ decision does leave the Browns even more worse off at guard than they were before but it’s not like he was the lynchpin to the offense.
Even if he was, the onus on protecting players falls on the NFL. Clearly, the MLB is not doing their job protecting players, as cases are popping up more and more each day. The NBA, who’s been in a “bubble” in the middle of the biggest hotspot for the virus, has zero cases. How’s that possible? The bubble works, that’s how.
If the NFL and even MLB want to conclude a season in 2020, the bubble is the only way to go. Even with a bubble, however, there is no guarantee that people still won’t’ test positive. At least you can put some fears to bed with one, however.
If more Browns players opt-out, we should as fanbase respect that. This is a virus that can cause career-ending lung and heart problems. It’s just practical that a player gives up a singular season for an entire career. The game will be there in 2021.
Hopefully with a vaccine.