NFL

NFL players call for cancelled preseason

By Sports Desk July 07, 2020

The National Football League Players Association voted unanimously to request the cancellation of the 2020 preseason, sending a memo to NFL executive committee last Friday.  

It was announced on Thursday by the NFL that it planned to hold a preseason shortened from four games to two because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the players' union memo, the league held a conference call that night to discuss its rationale.  

The NFL said that it kept two preseason games to facilitate COVID-19 testing and to provide an abbreviated "acclimation period" for players to help prevent injury.  

Responding in its memo, the NFLPA wrote: "The NFL offered no medical justification that supports their decision to retain two preseason games, nor any medical justification for shortening the previously agreed acclimation period, which is medically recommended for avoidance of injuries during the season."

The league has yet to respond publicly to the players' request.  

The NFL regular season is scheduled to kick off on Thursday, September 10.  

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    Ezekiel Elliott issued an apology following the Dallas Cowboys' heavy loss to the Arizona Cardinals, admitting after two costly fumbles: "I need to be better".

    The Cardinals improved to 4-2 as they thrashed the Cowboys 38-10 in Texas, running all over their opponents as they amassed 261 total rushing yards in the one-sided contest on Monday.

    Dallas were without starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the Week 5 win over the New York Giants. The defeat drops them to 2-4 for the season, though they still remain top of the NFC East.

    Running back Elliott insisted the result was not down to Prescott's absence, instead pointing to his pair of fumbles in the first half as key moments. Having lost possession on back-to-back drives, he accepted responsibility for the result.

    "I don't think we can use that [Dak's absence] as an excuse," Elliott told the media.

    "I'm just going to keep saying it over and over - I started the game out with two fumbles, gave the ball away and gave them all the momentum they need to go take off.

    "I want to say I'm sorry and this one is on me. I need to be better."

    Both turnovers led to touchdowns for Arizona and, after Kenyan Drake put the Cardinals 14-0 up, Tony Pollard - not Elliott - was on duty at running back for the Cowboys.

    Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy made clear that despite the change during the game, Elliott remains the team's lead back.

    "Every player who plays in this league, and it's no different on our football team, if you don't take care of the football it obviously affects your opportunities," McCarthy said in his post-game media conference.

    "Tony got an opportunity, I thought he did some really good things. At the end of the day, Zeke is our bell cow and we need to get it right. He's part of the plan and he's going to be part of our success.

    "We need to get it right and take care of the football, that's for everyone who touches the football on our team."

    Elliott finished the game with 49 rushing yards on 12 attempts, while Pollard had 31 yards on 10 carries.

    The Cowboys are on the road in Week 7, taking on divisional rivals Washington.

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