Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn reveals he had COVID-19 in opening scene of 'Hard Knocks' – USA TODAY
SportsPulse: It may be the strongest division top to bottom. It’s the NFC West and it very well could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl for the third straight year. USA TODAY
It took less than five minutes into the 15th season of HBO’s NFL reality series “Hard Knocks” for the vicious reality of 2020 to sink in.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn fired up Zoom on his laptop computer and delivered shocking news to his players.
“I can’t promise you that you’re not going to get infected. … I got infected,” the 51-year-old Lynn said.
Entering his fourth season at the helm of the Chargers, Lynn used his positive coronavirus test as a motivational tool for his players.
“Be patient, man. Be patient. Fellas, this year is not like any year we’ve had in the National Football League,” Lynn said. “There’s going to be chaos. It’s going to be change and it’s going to come every single day. The goals, the objectives, will not change.
“I’ve talked to some people who said they’re sick of this virus. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Let me tell you something, you aren’t promised next year. You aren’t promised tomorrow. What I want to do is I want to limit your exposures.
“But when that whistle blows, let’s go kick somebody’s ass and play some football. One team will do this better than the other 31. Trust me. It might as well be us. So, be ready for chaos. Embrace it. Because if we’re going to play, the team that handles this thing the best is going to have the best chance of winning that trophy.”
Later in the episode, Lynn offers more details about the symptoms he was experiencing in a meeting with Chargers team psychologist Dr. Herb Martin. Lynn says he was coughing a bit and his body was aching. He said that he was watching golf and one of the players pulled out of the tournament due to body aches.
Lynn, of course, was referencing PGA Tour player Denny McCarthy, who withdrew from the Travelers Championship on June 26. McCarthy also tested positive for the COVID-19.
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Here are other notable moments from the first episode of “‘Hard Knocks” with the Chargers and Rams:
Miami Marlins situation was front of mind
Coaches from both the Chargers and Rams brought up the situation surrounding the Marlins, who had 15 players and two staff members test positive for COVID-19.
“You see some of these other professional sports teams going right now. Look no further than the Marlins. I hate to see that. I love sports,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said while addressing his team. “But things happen when you don’t make good decisions outside the ecosystem or the arena that we have put forth right here.”
Players are getting tested daily. Coaches and players are wearing face coverings. Meetings are socially distanced. Lockers were moved apart. The NFL appears to be taking this pandemic seriously.
Jalen Ramsey not talking about his contract
The Rams’ Jalen Ramsey is one of the league’s premier cornerbacks. And the Rams invested heavily to acquire him, trading three draft picks — including two first-round selections — to the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire Ramsey, who earned his third Pro Bowl selection in 2019.
Ramsey still is playing on his rookie contract, and will become an unrestricted free agent without an extension.
“My agent and the front office will handle all that,” Ramsey says while speaking with reporters.
He repeats that line multiple times.
Clearly tired of talking about his contract situation, he walks out of a Zoom call with reporters, but later returns.
“I’m not worried about (the contract),” Ramsey says. “I’m worried about football. I’m worried about other things in my life.”
Moments later on the show, and down the road at the Chargers’ facility, defensive end Joey Bosa basks in his new record-setting contract extension that made him the league’s highest-paid defensive player.
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