The NFL currently has several teams in enhanced COVID protocols. This requires, among other things, daily testing of all vaccinated players.
On Thursday, however, two or more teams in enhanced protocols initially took the position that daily testing of vaccinated, asymptomatic players would not occur. Per multiple sources, the NFL Players Association got involved, and testing of all vaccinated, asymptomatic players occurs.
The issue initially came to a head in Cleveland, where NFLPA president JC Tretter doubles as the starting center. Tretter specifically objected to the plan to not test the vaccinated, asymptomatic players, and the Browns relented. It also happened in Washington, and possibly occurred at all other teams that are enhanced COVID protocols.
On Wednesday, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said that five teams are in enhanced protocols. ESPN identified seven: the Browns, Bears, Falcons, Lions, Rams, Vikings, and WFT. On Thursday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said his team is no longer in enhanced protocols.
We asked the league whether teams in enhanced protocols indeed tried to not test vaccinated, asymptomatic players on Thursday. The response what that any player who wanted to be tested today could have been tested, and that this has been the case for the entire season.
But that position glosses over the reality that teams in the enhanced protocol are required to test the vaccinated, asymptomatic players on a daily basis — regardless of whether the players want to be tested.
Regardless, the union got involved and compelled daily testing of vaccinated, asymptomatic players, in according with the enhanced protocols. Which resulted in more positives. Which, obviously, the league has a growing incentive to minimize — so that all games can be played as scheduled.