As training camp approached, the NFL planned to test players, coaches, and key personnel three times per week for COVID-19. The NFL Players Association pushed for daily testing throughout training camp.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, daily COVID-19 testing throughout training camp likely will become daily COVID-19 testing throughout the entire season. The league is expected to continue to use both off-site PCR testing (given its higher degree of accuracy) and on-site point-of-care testing as a supplement.
The league privately credits the union for pushing so aggressively for daily testing. Over time, it has become obvious that the routine of daily testing helps keep younger players accountable when it comes to avoiding activities that could result in an infection.
That accountability becomes even more important as players settle into the day-to-day of the regular season — and as some testing inevitably slide out of contention.
And while it will be more expensive to the league to test on a daily basis throughout the entire season, the league doesn’t care about the expense. First, it’s necessary to avoid outbreaks. Second, the expense of daily testing is barely a drop in the bucket in comparison to the losses that will result from a season of empty and mostly empty stadiums.