But now that rosters have been trimmed to 53 players and the regular season is just days away, Lindsay says the real work will begin and that will include the need to “give a damn” about each other.
“Let’s just get through the season, and by after the season they should have something figured out or at least know more about it,” Lindsay said. “For me, it’s like, I tell the young kids in our locker room, the young men in our locker room, ‘Hey, I have kids at the house, this is what I do.’ If you go out and you give it to me, you don’t give a damn about me, you don’t give a damn about my family, and that’s what it comes down to.”
The Broncos had just one player on the COVID-19/reserve list during training camp, tight end/fullback Andrew Beck, but he has participated since. The team had three players opt out for the season, including starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James.
Keeping the COVID-19/reserve list clear, Lindsay said, is about what happens when the players and other team employees are away from the complex. On-site, the players and other team personnel are subject to a long list of health and safety protocols that have included daily testing, face coverings, contact tracing monitors and social distancing — such as limiting the number of people in meeting rooms as well as usual gathering spots like the cafeteria and weight room.
Will things change after camp ends and the team begins to travel?
“You’re paying 21-, 22-year-old kids and telling them to stay home with all this money and freedom, and you hope that they’re mature enough to say, ‘Hey look, if you’re going to do all that, do that after the season,'” Lindsay said.
He added: “When everybody’s in camp, everybody’s focused. We’re here from 6:30 [a.m.] to like 8 or 9 at night. You get home, you’re tired. If you have kids, you have to make sure that they’re OK and make sure your wife or your girl is OK; you don’t have a lot of time. So I’m not surprised that we’re doing well. Biggest thing now is for everybody to hold each other accountable. Hold each other accountable for everything that you do, and if you do that we’ll be able to get through this season and show that we can do this.”
Broncos quarterback Drew Lock said earlier in training camp that pushing the message of personal responsibility is part of his job description this year. Lock has said that “if we really do love the game as much as we say we do, we should be willing to sacrifice a little bit of free time and some time out of football. I know personally, I love it enough to give that up.”
The fiery Lindsay has amped up those sentiments in recent days. In one of the locker rooms the players are currently using at the team’s complex, Lindsay is adjacent to linebacker Von Miller, who tested positive for COVID-19 in April and was quarantined for two weeks during his recovery.
Miller has made no secret about what it was like to battle the virus and has been vocal with his teammates throughout training camp about how he felt during his quarantine, how long it took him after the quarantine period to “feel right again” and how seriously they should all take precautions to avoid contracting the virus.
“Just do everything you can to not get it,” Miller said. “Not everybody who gets it is out doing something, but we can all do as much as we can not to get it.”
“Look to the left and right of you, and I don’t want to get nobody sick where they have to miss games, or they die,” Lindsay said. “That’s the scariest part about this: We don’t know who is immune to it and who isn’t, and I don’t want to be the reason someone dies or the one that leaves my family behind because somebody didn’t make the right decision. If everybody sticks with this game plan and is in it with each other, we’ll have an OK season and get through this.”