NFL to reduce testing of asymptomatic vaccinated players in major shift to COVID-19 mitigation strategy

The Athletic

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to a significant change to COVID-19 testing protocols aimed at keeping asymptomatic vaccinated players and coaches in the game and on the sidelines.

Starting Sunday, only unvaccinated players and anyone experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19 would undergo testing, according to a memo sent to teams and obtained by The Athletic. Asymptomatic players would be subject to random spot testing for the duration of the season. Unvaccinated players will still be tested daily.

"I would not describe it as we’re stopping testing; we’re trying to test smarter and in a more strategic fashion," said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer.

Players will also be provided at-home testing. Anyone who is vaccinated but considered a high-risk close contact to someone who is a confirmed positive case will be tested.

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