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Roger Goodell’s NFL draft hugs up in the air after back surgery

One of the biggest question marks in the 2024 NFL Draft has nothing to do with the franchise alert decisions teams will make Thursday night.

Instead, Commissioner Roger Goodell has a choice to make that could end up making the Detroit event look a little different this year.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam SchefterGoodell had back surgery three weeks ago.

And unlike a draft prospect whose stock is affected by such a procedure, that’s not exactly the case for Goodell, who isn’t picked by any of the league’s 32 teams.

Roger Goodell is known for his hugs during the NFL Draft. REUTERS

However, according to Schefter, even if the commissioner’s recovery has gone well so far, Goodell may still not be able to hug the players he greets on stage after announcing their names, for what he is known for since he took over the league. in 2006.

If it doesn’t happen Thursday night, it wouldn’t be the first time Goodell hasn’t had the chance to greet the league’s new players in this way, even if the last time wasn’t a choice.

In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL – which had planned to hold the draft in Nevada – held the event virtually, and Goodell announced the first-round picks from his home, not obviously having no physical contact with the players. .

It’s unclear if Goodell will be able to hug the players Thursday night. Paul J. Bereswill

And if Goodell is able to dish out a few hugs this time around, it will be — at most — 13 players, the smallest group to attend in person since the 2021 draft.

According to The Athletic, there are a number of reasons for the low total, including the location of the draft and the fact that players don’t know where or when they will be picked overnight – if at all.

Either way, even if Goodell gets to hug players after the picks, he probably won’t have the moment he had in 2015 when Browns pick Danny Shelton hugged the commissioner in his arms and lifted him off the ground, or won’t repeat the moment he was three years old. later with Dolphins selection Christian Wilkins when the two bumped shoulders.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater. USA TODAY Sports

The questions surrounding Goodell’s decision will undoubtedly be answered when he likely calls Caleb Williams’ name first when the Bears are on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick.

New York Post

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