NFL, NFLPA agree to new COVID-19 protocols

Browns Wire

The NFL and NFLPA spent a few days trying to figure out the best way forward for the league as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to press on. With the new Omicron variant seemingly more transmissible and positive tests skyrocketing throughout the league, the sides had to make adjustments to complete the 2021 NFL season.

The newest protocols, at their very simplest, pull back on many of the old testing rules for vaccinated players. While unvaccinated players will still be tested daily, vaccinated players will only be tested if they report symptoms. The league noted that the new policies are “more targeted testing” in a part of a memo released on Twitter.

The league also has given high-risk players a window in which they can now opt out for the rest of the year. For the 2020 season, there were a number of opt-outs around the league. With less testing happening, high-risk players may feel less safe in the working environment.

Moving forward, teams should see far fewer tests and far fewer positive results despite the widespread outbreak of the virus in many communities. At this point, the NFL and NFLPA will focus on limiting symptomatic players and unvaccinated players from spreading the virus and keep their “targeted testing” focused there.

With the new protocols, the NFL and NFLPA have all but assured the rest of the NFL season will go on without postponements due to COVID-19.