NFL, NFLPA agree to new testing protocols, give players more flexibility to attend meetings virtually

·2 min read

Amid a significant uptick in positive COVID-19 cases league-wide, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to new procedures for the remainder of the season.

As we noted today, the league and the union were preparing to stop regular testing of vaccinated players. A joint statement issued today said the agreement, which has been hammered out over recent days, is now in place.

“​The NFL and NFLPA have been engaged with our medical advisors to address the emergence of the new Omicron variant and how to stop the spread to ensure we keep everyone safe and complete the remainder of the season responsibly,” the statement said. “The intensive protocols implemented last week and the rescheduling of three games were designed to stop the transmission of the virus and play this week’s games safely. After this weekend’s games, we have agreed to put into place a new set of protocols, which will include a more targeted testing plan, more flexibility for players to attend meetings virtually and also a high-risk player opt-out for the remainder of the season.”

Under the new policy, fully vaccinated and asymptomatic players will not be tested unless they request a test or have had a high-risk contact, or if the league’s medical staff believes targeted testing is needed. Previously, regular testing of vaccinated players was conducted once a week.

The new policy will likely result in some vaccinated players having COVID-19 and not knowing it, and still practicing and playing. But given how effective the vaccines are at preventing vaccinated individuals from getting seriously ill, the league and union have decided that’s justified. The vast majority of NFL players are fully vaccinated.

Many of the players who have been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list after they tested positive in the past week have been vaccinated an asymptomatic. Soon those players will be able to continue playing, making it much more likely that the league will be able to continue its season.

NFL, NFLPA agree to new testing protocols, give players more flexibility to attend meetings virtually originally appeared on Pro Football Talk