If you’ve watched any NFL games recently, you may have seen a flashing red light on one of your favorite players.
These anklet sightings created a bit of hysteria among NFL fans who wondered what they could be. These players are on leave for work, restrictions on house arrest? If so, what crimes did they commit? It makes sense for fans to think of it after players like it Antonio Brown had trouble with ankle bracelets a few years ago. Some fans believed these were StatCast monitors that helped the NFL monitor data such as maximum speed and distances traveled for certain players. It looks like something the NFL would do. NFL players were do it yourself For years. It only makes sense that the NFL will start implementing some of its own as well.
The answer, boringly, is none of these are the truth.
I contacted the NFL to find out what exactly these things are. In reality, these monitors are nothing more than contact tracking devices. Gamers have actually started wearing them Kinexon monitor last season as part of the NFL’s measures to mitigate the effect COVID-19 would have on the season. The flashing red light you see is part of the programming of the device. It turns on whenever the device is less than six feet from another person wearing it. This feature is intended to help promote social distancing between players when they are off the pitch. Of course, social distancing isn’t exactly something players can do in the middle of games.
So why are we only seeing these devices now? Well, the devices have always been there, the players just hid them. “Most of the players have a pocket sewn onto the shirt. Some have [the device] in their pads, “an NFL spokesperson said. They wear all devices, only not all of them have them on the ankles.
The NFL isn’t the only pro sports league to implement contact-tracking devices on its athletes. The NBA has experimented with the same Kinexon SafeZone devices in the past. Major League Baseball followed suit with its own devices before last season.
These devices do not indicate players currently under house arrest with conditions that allow them to travel to their home fields for training and matches, and honestly, we should have known that from the start. Chargers running back Joshua Kelley, one of the people seen in the game wearing the device around his ankle, is a truly exceptional guy. He used his opportunity on a national stage at the NFL combine to raise money for St. Jude’s Cresearch for children hHospital.
I would be shocked if there were any criminal charges against him. Man clearly has a caring heart.
With the return of the Chargers Austin Ekeler in the COVID protocol, who is likely to miss this weekend’s game against Houston, Kelley could have a great opportunity to show off his device this weekend, proving he’s been more COVID-aware than his backfield counterpart during this pandemic.