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Redskins Players Are Adapting To A World Of Social Distancing Amid COVID-19


There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the United States, and the NFL is not immune to its widespread effects.

With states ordering citizens to stay at home to counter the spread of COVID-19, the NFL issued a league-wide memo ordering all clubs to close their facilities to all players, coaches and employees. Offseason workouts, which would have begun for the Redskins on April 6, have been put on hold indefinitely, depriving players of the ability to train with their teammates.

Fortunately, the Redskins players, returners and newcomers alike, are adapting to the sudden change in schedule and taking things in stride. Some have their own personal gyms, while others are searching to train while practicing proper social distancing methods. But regardless of the methods, players are doing whatever necessary to stay in shape.

"I think that it's important for all to realize this is something that is unprecedented that we are going through right now, but you've got to stay on top of making sure that you're in shape as players," Thomas Davis Sr. told local media on March 31.

Davis is one of the lucky players who doesn't have to leave his house to go to a gym. He decided to put one in his house when he was building it. Davis said that was probably one of the most beneficial additions he made during construction, especially during a time where it is so important to stay home.

"You've got to make sure that we're doing the things that are necessary to make sure that once the season is able to kick back and we're able to go, that it's not a whole bunch of guys trying to get back in shape at that point."

Other players like J.D. McKissic don't have their own personal gyms at home, so they normally have to find other places to work out. The gym where McKissic normally trains was shut down prior to him signing with the Redskins, so he hasn't had many opportunities to lift weights. He still finds ways to stay healthy around his neighborhood, though.

"Just running hills and putting in workouts," McKissic said. "I was trying to keep my conditioning and my weight good, but that's about it."

Like everyone else, the most important thing for McKissic is to avoid contracting the virus.

"Just keeping my hands clean, not touching anyone, not going near anyone until this stuff goes over."

Finding places outside isn't always easy for players, though. Safety Sean Davis said public areas like gyms and fields are all shut down where he lives. He even said there was yellow tape across a field in a park close to him.

Davis said "it's like a scary movie scene" whenever he goes outside, so he's decided to go back to basic workouts like push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups.

"Whenever we're allowed to be back, I'll be ready," he said. "I always make sure I'm ready when I need to be ready. I'm just looking forward to training in Loudoun County."

Davis still finds a way to get outside. Although he doesn't like running outdoors, he still does it because he said it's imperative to maintain his conditioning.

"I'm just trying to do the best we can, control the controllable."

Still, other players haven't experienced too much of a difference in their offseason training regiment. That's how Kyle Allen felt while he was working out with Josh Allen and Sam Darnold in California. The three were together from February to March, and the only difference from years past is that they have to work out in a garage rather than their regular gym.

The only difficult part of the experience was finding a place to throw with all the parks being closed down. Other than that, it was a lot of playing cards, watching movies and playing video games in addition to training.

"It's been good, we've been getting good work in and trying to adapt to all this like everyone else is," Allen said.

Outside of working out, the other important aspect of this offseason has been social distancing, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stressed that people practice to lessen the spread of the virus. Perhaps no one has had an easier time of that than Brandon Scherff, who is mostly keeping to himself in Iowa.

"I'm going turkey hunting tomorrow, Saturday and then next week," Scherff told Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael earlier this week. "So kind of social distancing myself that way and pretty much getting away from absolutely everybody."

Scherff has all he needs right now; he has a turkey call, a blind, a decoy and a gun. But even in the wilderness, Scherff has his mind on the CDC's recommendation of maintaining a distance of at least six feet, even from the turkeys.

"You've got to sweet talk them and hopefully you can coax them in just close enough," he said. "If they get a little too close, they might end up for dinner."

However, players are aware that they and the rest of the country are in uncertain times, and the top priority is staying safe.

"There's nothing more important right now than your own life and the lives of the people that are around you that are being affected," Thomas Davis Sr. said. "So, it's important that we continue to do the things that are being asked and follow those guidelines."

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