How Richard Sherman is Handling an Unusual Offseason Amid Coronavirus
Jose Luis Sanchez III
COVID-19 has forced the world into a social distancing state. When it comes to sports, it has just about ended every season there is out there. For the NFL, it's still conducting business as usual in free agency despite restricting contact with others and shutting its facilities down.
However, the offseason is where players use the time to improve upon themselves. They go out to get field work with others to improve their mechanics and technique. Or they simply hit the gym to get in shape and to get stronger.
The offseason is certainly different for a bunch NFL players, except for some veteran players like 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman. Albert Breer of The MMQB spoke to Sherman regarding any alterations to his NFL career due to the coronavirus:
“With my routine, I don’t really ramp until we get closer to the season anyway,” Sherman said. “I wouldn’t need an offseason program, I think most veterans would tell you that. The lockout year, that was my rookie year, we went straight into the season, and it wasn’t really a concern for us. For a lot of us, that stuff’s a waste of time. It’s good for the young guys, but not as much for a guy who’s 10 years into playing in a scheme.”
Sherman also mentioned to Breer that the two Super Bowl teams, 49ers and Chiefs, will not "face a disadvantage" since their seasons were longer than any other teams. There is always the question of fatigue and longevity of players after a Super Bowl appearance.
That's why you hear the phrase "Super Bowl hangover" thrown out for the two teams that appeared.
The strenuous journey just to get to the Super Bowl can be enough to detract a teams season the following year. Since all the facilities around the league are currently closed for the foreseeable future, there is now equal footing for all teams no matter how far they went in 2019.
So for veterans like Sherman, this shutdown doesn't necessarily impact them heavily other than playing more video games. He's still getting his workouts in to maintain his conditioning and strength. That is most likely the same for any other players in the league.
I wouldn't expect there to be much change unless this pandemic goes as far into late Summer. That is where it will really impact veteran players who could find their career potentially getting shaved down.
But for right now, there isn't much that has changed for Sherman and others as they get through these difficult times.