Ravens running back Mark Ingram II talks about virtual workouts and family during coronavirus quarantine.
The coronavirus pandemic is testing Mark Ingram II’s work-life balance.
As the father of four young children, the Ravens star joked Tuesday that he’s had more than his share of “Trolls World Tour” movie screenings lately. As a Pro Bowl running back, he’s gotten used to early-morning workouts. With gyms and schools closed and families stuck at home, there are only so many traces of normalcy.
But on April 27, Ingram will head back to work — kind of. The NFL and its players union have agreed to conduct “virtual” offseason workout programs until every team is permitted to open its facilities. Teams can hold voluntary classroom instruction, workouts and nonfootball educational programs using online platforms, according to a memo sent to teams.
The three-week, virtual offseason starts April 20 for teams with new head coaches and April 27 for the others and will run through May 15.
“I think it’s a good idea, given the circumstances that everybody’s under,” Ingram said in a conference call Tuesday with Baltimore-area reporters.
Ingram has had to make to do with social-distancing guidelines so far. With the closure of Ravens facilities in Owings Mills and local gyms near Ingram’s Florida home, he said he’s had to find space where he can “still be able to work hard, still be able to get your work in, whether it be some empty grass somewhere, a garage, backyard.” His workouts have been low-tech: plyometric exericses, ladder drills, exercise bicycles, free weights.
The league’s offseason program concludes June 26. If stay-at-home orders throughout the country continue into the summer, teams will have to conduct a mandatory veteran minicamp in a virtual manner. Ingram indicated that players would also need a “normal" training camp period to prepare “mentally, physically, individually and collectively” for the season.
With a deep roster full of returning players and a coaching staff that remained intact this offseason, Ingram said continuity could give the Ravens an advantage.
“I think that is very important with any team, the continuity of a team, camaraderie of a team, being able to learn together, being able to apply what you’re learning on the field together, being able to work together,” he said. "The blood, the sweat and the tears that you acquire together over weeks and weeks and weeks and days and days and days of hard work, stacking those days with a team, that’s special. And that’s how you develop that bond and that brotherhood.
“So I think someone with the same coaching staff and the same players, obviously, will probably have an advantage on someone with a new coaching staff and players that don’t really know each other. But I think the virtual thing will help keep everybody on point that way. And I think it’ll be fine. You just have to be able to overcome these obstacles. You’ve just got to be able to overcome it.”