Chicago Bears TE Jimmy Graham airs frustration with NFLPA over COVID-19 testing, 17th sport

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Close End of the Chicago Bears Jimmy Graham spoke up Thursday on a variety of topics across the NFLPA, including the union’s proposal to increase the frequency of COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players and a 17th game to add in the regular season.

“I’ve been in the league for 12 years now and it was frustrating with them at times [the NFLPA]Said Graham. “I won’t hold back. I am a grown man. And I wish someone would talk to me and talk to me like a grown man and let me have a say in some things. I’ll be playing for free in week 17 too. How does that make sense? Who even applied for that? I certainly don’t. “

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Graham initially tweeted his complaints to the NFLPA about the vaccination proposal with two tweets on Thursday morning.

“I was basically forced to get the vaccine. Now I’m just confused @NFLPA, “Graham tweeted, and later wrote,” I’ve done everything I was asked and now I feel punished for a test you suggest every day. I will be fined no more than 150,000! How does that make sense. How is the sentence 100 times worse than last year and I am vaccinated now? “

The NFLPA released a memo this week recommending that vaccinated players and staff be tested every day when they enter the team facility. The recommendations are based on updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the NFLPA medical experts. The union did not recommend that fully vaccinated players be tested on their days off or during the weeks off.

According to the NFLPA memo, 65 players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 since the training camps opened.

The Bears have four players on the Reserve / COVID-19 list: nose tackle Eddie Goldman, long-snapper Patrick Scales, linebacker Christian Jones and offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson.

Graham didn’t give in to his comments when he reached out to the media after training.

“For me, it’s one of those things that I understand last year and what happened last year,” said Graham. “We are all committed to making this season the way this season happened, to try to get a run and win the Super Bowl. I understood what it was about. You know there wasn’t a vaccine much less known about it, so we had to take these steps to do it. “

“I thought we had a schedule for this season too, and now we’re kind of taking that out and pulling it back. So it’s a little bit frustrating for me who went out and got the vaccine just so I could, you know? do the same and have another successful, healthy season. That’s all I will say about it. “

Earlier Thursday morning, coach Matt Nagy said he had not raised the matter with Graham, but noted that the team was working hard to educate players and staff on all coronavirus-related safety protocols.

“All of these guys have opinions and beliefs, and I’m not going to criticize anyone for their beliefs. We all have them and we all have the opportunity to express them, ”said Nagy before training on Thursday. “He [Graham] didn’t come to me, and Jimmy and I have a close relationship so close that if there was a problem he and I would have one on one.

“Something happens with it every day, and I think everyone is figuring out what best to do to be safe. And not just in the sports world, but in life in general; every state is a bit different in what it is doing. Masks, not masks, things are sure to change. “

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