It's been a unique NFL offseason, to say the least. And linebacker C.J. Mosley talked about one more element in the crazy football landscape of facilities being locked down for months by coronavirus precautions, meetings and coaching taking place virtually, and the recent nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
This wrinkle C.J. discussed was another C.J. talking to the Jets and giving out his contact information.
"Christopher Johnson came on our video call last night and he talked to the whole team, players, coaches, staff, everyone on the video chat," Mosley said, referring of course to the team owner and CEO. "He pretty much let us know that anything we needed, he was there to help. He gave out his personal information and he said any guy who wants to call, get together to work something out, he would help.
"That meant a lot to me and I'm sure to everybody else, for him to come out of his way from his home and talk to us."
Johnson's input also meant a lot because, Mosley said, for everyone in the league, "at the end of the day, it's about the end goal of where can we go from here" after the last two weeks of protests. He was asked what that end goal was and the short version was "Equality for all" before expanding.
"We always talk about how we're going to help out our community, help out the places of need, I think with the protests and everything, or when Mr. Johnson gave out his number," Mosley said. "For us players reaching out and hopefully owners doing the same thing, reaching out to the players, we're trying to figure out a way as a team that we can come together and show the world that not just the NFL but each individual team can do something about the community that they're in."
The issues of today will continue for all NFL players through the summer and Mosley said he expects the Jets to have a players-only meeting closer to opening day to discuss how they are going to handle those topics as they arise inseason. And they'll also discuss how to balance their attention on the different social issues with staying focused on trying to assemble a winning football team in 2020.
"You're there to do your job to be a football player, but you're human, too," he said. "A lot of people have been affected in different ways, in their past, in their families' past, and even now still today. These are the kind of issues that you talk about in the locker room, but it's been a little harder since we're all away. We all need to get together, whether it's as a whole group or certain players reach out or we just have a players-only meeting on a Zoom call to figure out what we want to do, how to move things forward, and still trying to focus on football."
Mosley's been better able to focus on his sport this offseason now that he's made great progress in his rehab from his groin injury suffered in his first game as a Jet last opening day.
"I'm cleared to do everything. I've been working every week with my trainers every week as far as workouts and rehab," he said. "So when we get back in the building, whenever that is, we'll go from there."
He confirmed that he can now run and cut the way he needs to play his position, after that was a little bit of a concern when he spoke with reporters a month ago, and that he expects to participate in training camp.
Naturally, camp is one more concern in this offseason of curveballs as COVID-19 lockdowns are lifted and NFL teams return to their facilities. But Mosley is keeping his optimism up for a smooth August as well.
"You can only control what you can control," he said. "I feel the NFLPA and the NFL working together with the doctors and the experts are making sure ... to have everybody safe and sound when we get back or if we get back. I don't know what the plan is. But I'm just doing everything I can on my side to stay safe, keep my family safe, and make sure I'm ready to go."