"The risk has to be really eliminated before I would feel comfortable going back."
That's NFL star Malcolm Jenkins seriously pumping the brakes on the league's plan to return to action in just a few weeks ... saying he still has legitimate concerns over players' safety.
The New Orleans Saints defensive back told CNN on Thursday he wants to see major improvement in COVID-19 protocols before he and others strap on the pads once again.
NEW: @Saints safety (and new @CNN contributor) @MalcolmJenkins says the risk of coronavirus "needs to be eliminated" before he would feel comfortable returning to play. pic.twitter.com/SFH1pu8FJG— Alli Hedges Maser (@AllisonLHedges) June 25, 2020
NEW: @Saints safety (and new @CNN contributor) @MalcolmJenkins says the risk of coronavirus "needs to be eliminated" before he would feel comfortable returning to play. pic.twitter.com/SFH1pu8FJG
"We have to understand football is a non-essential business," Jenkins said. "And, so we don't need to do it."
Jenkins says with the league unable to quarantine all of its players in a bubble-like situation similar to the NBA's return plan ... he fears coronavirus spread could be rampant.
And, while Jenkins is concerned about a personal battle with COVID ... he's also terribly worried about a potential spread to parents and vulnerable family members.
"We'll end up being kind of on this trust system," Jenkins said. "Where the honor system where we just have to hope guys are social distancing and things like that, and that puts all of us at risk."
NFL training camps are currently set to kick off on July 28 ... with the regular season slated to begin Sept. 10.