NFL eliminates 62-player restriction on game days

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Nearly as quickly as it arrived, the NFL has abandoned its pandemic-driven 62-player game-day maximum.

In a memo sent to all teams by the league office on Thursday, the rule limiting the road team from bringing 62 players to away games (and for fairness purposes placing a similar restriction on home teams) was rescinded.

“Effective for Week 13 games, the 62-player limit on the number of players from each club that may travel to/attend each game will be lifted,” the memo, a copy of which PFT has obtained, explains. “Clubs may determine the number of players they wish to travel to/attend each game (e.g., clubs are permitted to bring players on Reserve/Injured status and/or players on the practice squad, but they should carefully consider the risks and benefits in doing so). Players on Reserve/COVID may not travel with the club or attend a game. All players that attend the game and are not on the sideline must remain physically distant, wear their Kinexon tracking devices and PPE at all times. Clubs are no longer required to submit a list of the 62 eligible players in advance of each game.”

Any players who attend the game must stay at the team hotel the night before the game.

In the aftermath of the creation of the 62-player rule, some raised concerns that players left at home during a road trip would be at greater risk of catching the virus in the community.

The move underscores the potential value of a home-market bubble, which would keep players out of the community at large during a large increase in the spread of the virus. Due most likely to collective bargaining, however, the league isn’t asking — and the union isn’t offering.

That will likely continue to be the case until an outbreak results in the cancellation of a game. It would be great if both sides could recognize the potential impact of the worst-case scenario before it happens, and act accordingly.

11 responses to “NFL eliminates 62-player restriction on game days

  1. The “bubble”(All teams staying in hotels 7 days a week) will probably happen for the playoffs. I actually hope it does because COVID will be surging for the next few months at least. It’s better to do it as the playoffs begin rather than forced into it during the playoffs.

  2. If I was an NFL franchise, I would sign at least 5 quarterbacks and keep 2 or 3 quarantined by themselves to avoid what we’ve seen in Denver.

  3. They’ve already lost one of the great matchups of the year. Roethlisberger versus Jackson. I was looking forward to that game (not a AFC North fan) because of the players.

  4. There is already a rumor that the Jets are planning to add the entire Alabama Crimson Tide football team to its player pool, in an effort to win at least 1 game.

  5. I remember back in the day when Tom Osbourne of Nebraska used to suit up over 100 players for some home games (so more students could have the Cornhusker football experience. The sidelines looked like the players were packed in like sardines. Sometimes a lot of them would actually get int games because Nebraska would be blowing teams out and they were playing the scrubs). I wonder if some NFL team will try to match that feat.

  6. As the Patriots, Cardinals, and other organizations that followed the protocols have shown — even if there is limited community spread to the team there is no spread on the team itself.
    The only real spread has come from organizations that failed to follow the rules like Baltimore and Tennessee. Baltimore’s violation of the protocols was so bad they may even rise to the level of criminal conduct in the state of Maryland given the current rules in place by the Governor and the County though I doubt either will go after the team.

  7. Tony Broome says:
    December 4, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    If I was an NFL franchise, I would sign at least 5 quarterbacks and keep 2 or 3 quarantined by themselves to avoid what we’ve seen in Denver.


    Great idea… but WHO are you going to sign that would be any good and/or would be able to get any kind of practice reps in your system.?

    I would argue that a player who has had experience playing QB but doesn’t know your playbook and has practiced little or none with your team would only be MARGINALLY better than the WR who played for Denver.

    You’ve got a FEW former NFLers out there with experience who at LEAST know how to run an NFL offense (albeit out of the league for a while)

    I think of guys like Christian Ponder, Eli Manning, Drew Stanton, Taylor Heniecke.. and maybe a handful of CFL players if they were contractually able who would be the only real reasonable options..

  8. Covid19 has control our lives so much that it forces everyone to make a decision that pleases no one

  9. The NFL is operating just like the Republican Party : Like a blind man stumbling around in a dark room.

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