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J.C. Tretter says players are watching Ja’Wuan James situation closely

5/17/2021 2:40:29 PM
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Ja’Wuan James was released by the Broncos after he suffered a torn achilles tendon while away from the team's practice facility.

He’d been in the Broncos’ building before taking the union’s advice not to take part in the team’s offseason program. But as NFLPA President J.C. Tretter sees it, the risk James was taking wasn’t new, and the result is informative, Albert Breer of's MMQB reports.

“Being a pro athlete, you have to work out year-round,” he says. “Only nine of the 29 weeks of the offseason are within the voluntary program. So if we only prioritized staying off the non-football injury list, then we’d all only train nine weeks in the offseason. The league doesn’t want that, fans don’t want that, teams don’t want that. We know that we’re at risk off-site for non-football injury reasons. But it’s the same risk every year. And as for Ja’Wuan’s situation, players are watching that closely."

“You’re tasked with working out year-round. And guys have always felt teams have their back when they’re training, working out for the season. So players are watching this closely to see which teams aren’t going to have players’ backs. And doing this also disincentivizes guys working out. If you’re going to hold this over my head, and I don’t want to get hurt, well, then I’ll play myself into shape, and protect myself and my money.”

Tretter then re-emphasizes the point, “You really just want to feel like your team would have your back in that situation. And then on top of that, you read this memo where it sounds like the league is basically pushing teams to throw injured guys under the bus.”

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