Given the current labor climate, it's been pretty impressive to see NFL players in various cities rally around the leaders of their respective teams and start firing up some offseason workouts.
But it's easy to be optimistic when nothing's going wrong -- in a piece that ran Friday, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated talked to a GM who expressed concern about the future of these workouts once a major injury happens.
"Quite honestly, I'm waiting for the first ACL tear that happens and then we'll see if anyone talks about how great this whole workout program is for these young guys," the GM said. "I just think the potential downside outweighs the benefit. I know that's probably not conventional thinking, considering the Redskins won two championships off this kind of thing. [...]
"Let someone lose their quarterback for eight months because he slipped and hurt something, be it a Drew Brees, a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning, then we'll see how fast these camps continue."
The unnamed GM is correct -- if someone who is a) extremely notable or b) angling for a new contract suffers a major injury during these workouts, they'll probably come to a quick halt.
And while freak injuries are a part of exercising (for anyone), it's worth noting that these voluntary workouts aren't exactly conducive to serious injury problems -- Brees noted that players "take a risk by being here" but also pointed out that there's "absolutely no contact."
And from the perspective of the players involved, it also helps to keep them together at a time when they appear to need unity more than ever.
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