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Amidst a rapidly growing crowd of NFL players landing on the reserve/COVID-19 lists across nearly every team, the league is making a small but significant change to the COVID-19 protocols.
The NFL sent a memo detailing the changes to all 32 teams. It was released as a press release at almost the exact minute the Lions placed safety Jalen Elliott on Detroit’s reserve list, making Elliott the 10th Lions player added to the list in the last week.
There’s quite a bit to the releases, but here’s the abridged version:
All individuals will now be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status when involved with any team-related function.
No more indoor meetings. Teams will have to hold their meetings outdoors or remotely, with the Lions and other northern cities basically forced to hold them remotely.
No team dinners or gatherings on the premises.
No more than 15 people can be in the weight room.
The more important tweak from a fan and consumer perspective involves how quickly players who test positive can get back into the lineup. Players who are actively vaccinated and asymptomatic can now return if they provide two negative PCR tests, and those tests can be conducted on the same day. Previously, they would have had to produce negative tests 24 hours apart.
New memo on the NFL and NFLPA’s adjusted COVID-19 protocols pic.twitter.com/wC98yqlVUQ
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2021
The Lions still have several players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including S Tracy Walker, RB Jamaal Williams and CB Ifeatu Melifonwu. Center Evan Brown did return on Wednesday, the first of the Lions to get back into action.