NFL updates COVID-19 protocols for newly acquired players

Getty Images

The NFL updated its COVID-19 testing protocols for newly acquired players, the league announced in a memo to teams Friday.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports free agents and players acquired from another team will have the clock start on their six-day COVID-19 entry testing process the day they arrive, even if they don’t go through testing.

The new ruling will take effect Saturday.

Agents and teams have questioned the length of time it now takes from when a player signs to when he is allowed to join his new team.

The new rule will speed up the process slightly, helping backfill rosters.

“Beginning with players who arrive in a new club on Saturday, Oct. 17, the entry testing period for tryout and free agent players and players acquired from other clubs will begin upon arrival in the club city, even if they arrived in the new club city after the club’s daily PCR testing window has already closed,” the memo states. “Players acquired from other clubs are permitted to undergo a physical exam at the club doctor’s office (but not at the club facility) during the testing on-boarding period. As such, they are treated similarly to free agents and tryout players.”