Keenan Allen was the first big-time wide receiver to suffer a season-ending injury, this after tearing his ACL in San Diego’s season-opening 33-27 loss to the Chiefs. If the Chargers need a wide receiver, they may want to contact free agent David Nelson, who dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss numerous topics, including player health and safety.
While many people equate player safety with concussions and in-game shots to the head, Nelson explained that the offseason is just as important for player health in terms of getting in shape and staying in shape for the rigors of an NFL season.
“That’s why the offseason is so important,” Nelson said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “That’s why it’s so valuable. I think with the new CBA and the new steps that the NFL and NFLPA (are taking together) to implement (are important). My first year was the last year of two-a-days. I think you’ve seen a substantial decrease in the amount of season-ending injuries since that’s happened. When that was going on, you had players that were falling out in training camp. When we got into Week 1 for the NFL season, guys’ bodies were worn out, they were beaten – it was just so taxing and so difficult. And now with the way it currently stands and the time off, the OTAs and minicamp, the way it is non-contact – it’s definitely helping, but it’s placing more of an emphasis on the individual players to get ready. The coaches aren’t able to, as a group, collectively get their players ready, whether it be tackling, whether it be getting hit, whether it be weights and workouts – because they’re limited in the offseason with how much they can really do contact-wise. So it’s putting an extra emphasis on players and veterans to do what they have to do off the field so that they’re ready to go. Not to say that guys who are getting hurt didn’t do their job and didn’t do things in the offseason. Sometimes it’s a freak accident. But you’re starting to see guys place much more emphasis on what they’re putting in their body so that they can sustain themselves for a 16- – shoot, a 20-week – season.”
Nelson, 29, has spent time with the Bills, Browns, Jets and Steelers. He has 138 catches for 1,530 yards and 10 touchdowns in his 50-game career.
Nelson was also asked about Colin Kaepernick and the ongoing social protests around the league.
“I am a big believer in advocating for what you believe in,” Nelson said. “I’m a big believer in that everybody’s voice has value and has weight and meaning – no matter your platform, no matter your influence. I think Benjamin Watson posted a Facebook comment last week and just talked about it – and it’s from the heart. It wasn’t necessarily the content or the stance or side that he took; it was just the heart of it. He spoke from the heart. When he was speaking, it wasn’t, ‘I’m going to say this because it’s politically correct or it’s what I want people to agree with.’ It came from his heart. As long as that’s something that these guys are doing – because that’s where it’s coming from – then I’m all for it. But the moment it starts to get into a publicity stunt or some type of way to get attention, that’s where I draw the line. I believe that in order to see change or affect change, action must come about. Social justice and social change is just that. It’s the vocal. It’s speaking. What I would encourage those guys to do is to go much further than that. Obviously we’re in the NFL season right now so there’s not much you can do, but instead of just talking about it, put action to it and really activate what you’re saying.”