TAMPA, Fla – Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate, who was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus this offseason and has since recovered, called attending Tom Brady’s organized workouts a “calculated risk” and think it won’t be much different from the election play this season.
Brate contracted the virus while the player-hosted training sessions were going on a few months ago, but his fiancee Brooke, who he lives with, started showing symptoms, so he self-quarantined before his diagnosis .
“I first tested negative, but at one point I contracted it from her and later I became infected,” Brate said. “For me personally, the only thing I felt was a loss of taste for two days. So I’m extremely grateful that I’m not among the people who have had some of the more severe symptoms.
“The way things turned out, I was sort of already in quarantine before I tested positive or whatever. I think the guys kept training and luckily I wasn’t putting anyone on. in danger, which was great, ”Brate said. who has fully recovered.
Brate said the workouts, which were done several times a week, continued after his diagnosis. He said players have tried to be responsible about it and have discussed ways to minimize the risks.
“It’s definitely something that we talked about, definitely something that we tried to find the best way to do it. I would probably say… that we weren’t the only quarterbacks and receivers doing this through the league, although I think we were the only ones that had a helicopter above us filming it – that was interesting for sure, ”Brate said.
“We just tried to avoid the risk of exposure to each other as much as possible. We weren’t snuggling, we weren’t hugging or anything like that. We were just getting a little kick out so it was a bit of a calculated risk, I would say, that we took in that regard. We did our best to try to maintain social distancing and really not have too much interaction with each other. “
“I will say – the scary thing is that if she hadn’t tested positive I would have sort of gone on with my life like other normal and potentially infected people,” Brate said. “So that was sort of the main advantage for me, was how scary that possibility was. I think that’s potentially the case for a lot of people too.”
Now that Brate and his fiancée have recovered, both plan to donate plasma as many times as they can, which the Bucs have actually approached him with. Brate recently filmed a PSA with OneBlood to encourage people to donate plasma – the liquid part of blood. According to the FDA, those who have recovered from the infection have antibodies that may be able to help other people who are struggling to fight the disease.
As for how he thinks the league is handling safety as players report and start training soon, Brate said: “There will always be risks, because you can’t play football at social distance. . You tackle, you block, you You sweat, you spit on each other, whatever – there’s a lot going on in football. “
While no Bucs player has chosen not to play in 2020, teammate Donovan Smith expressed concern on social media two weeks ago before the NFL and NFLPA agreed to daily testing. Smith has since visited camp on Tuesday. But Brate doesn’t blame players on other teams who have pulled out and respects their decisions.
“There’s really no difference between summer training and now – there’s no vaccine or anything. Everyone’s pretty much faced with the same risk calculation they have to make. for them and their families, ”Brate said.
“Everyone has the right to make their own decision, what is best for them and those close to them. I’ve seen people from all over the league decide to step down. Sometimes you will read the comments and there will be a lot of negative things. about their decision. And it’s very disheartening to see, because how can you blame someone for putting their health and that of their family first? “