Drew Brees says he’s trying to avoid pre-snap ritual as coronavirus looms over NFL season

Drew Brees makes his dramatic entrance during a 2019 Saints home game
Drew Brees makes his dramatic entrance during a 2019 Saints home game(Mark LaGrange)
Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 12:34 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Hygiene is going to be a huge factor in the NFL when the season begins, and Saints QB Drew Brees knows just that.

He told ESPN in a story published Wednesday that licking his fingers has been a part of his routine before snapping the football, so he is training to stop the habit.

“The whole point is to help give your hands a little tackiness so you get better grip on the ball,” Brees said. “I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot lately as I’ve started throwing again. I’m trying to avoid it, but it has been so habitual for so long. You don’t realize how much you touch your face and lick your fingers until COVID hit.”

Ryan Harris, a former offensive lineman who won a Super Bowl, told ESPN he thought finger-licking was gross — even before the pandemic.

“It’s so gross, even when there isn’t COVID,” he said. “And just look where he puts his hands the play before, the play after, and the play he’s running when he licks his fingers. Do the math. Honestly, there are a lot of every-day, don’t-give-it-a-second-thought things people are going to have to give a second thought about.”

The NFL hasn’t released guidelines against spitting or hand-licking yet. The NBA and MLB have already prohibited those things going into their shortened seasons.

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