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

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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.

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

  1. Will the unvaccinated masquerading as vaccinated get an even more free pass? This approach should necessitate verifying vaccination status.

  2. Great news! Hopefully others sports follow suit. I dont know of any other companies in the workforce that require any or daily testing. If you feel ill report it.

  3. So there’s a more contagious variant circulating, and with many more players than expected testing positive and missing games, the solution is to test less? Got it.

  4. But given how effective the vaccines are at preventing vaccinated individuals from getting seriously ill, the league and union have decided that’s justified.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    More like ‘given that current testing protocols have resulted in so many positive tests that threaten our ability to play games without forfeits we decided to reduce the testing requirements’ but hey, the games must go on.

  5. bigdogsolec says:

    Mean while the Aaron Rodgers,Antonio Brown type of players are gonna get free passes.
    —————-
    Aaron Rodgers?? He was reported to the league as non vaccinated all year. He didnt hide anything or lie to the nfl.

  6. It’s insane you must test every player with no exceptions this will open up all kinds of lawsuits
    the NFL due to there inept management started enhanced protocols to late i easily saw this coming 3 weeks ago .
    Shame on the NFL and the NFLPA ( JC Tretter ) for once again selling out to the all mighty dollar .

  7. We are reaching the “Endemic phase” of this virus. Covid is not going away. Similar to other viruses it mutates, becomes more contagious and less infectious. All indications point to this occurring. We need to stop all the rushing to fear crap. The NFL is just recognizing this and adapting to it. Please lets keep targeting the immunocompromised, elderly, and comorbidities of this a let life continue.

  8. The NFL and the NFLPS are using trumps moronic way of thinking stop testing and it will just magically go away .

  9. wiremans12 says:
    December 18, 2021 at 3:49 pm
    The NFL and the NFLPS are using trumps moronic way of thinking stop testing and it will just magically go away .

    Not at all. The league is taking the lead in a step toward normal which is pushing vaccination and realizing the virus is not going away.

  10. How do guys like Tom Moore feel about this? Even a “mild” case can be tough on an older person or anyone with other conditions. Sometimes you need to put your internet medical and constitutional law degrees away and look beyond yourself to do what’s best for the group.

  11. ALL OUTSIDE vax cards need to be IMMEDIATELY vetted….
    This should be mandatory & very easily attainable & THEY should be required to be tested daily until the vetting is completed though a NUTRAL PARTY…..any player refusing to provide their cards should be suspended immediately without pay….
    Any false cards get the 3 game suspension like Brown got…..

  12. zagreus says:
    December 18, 2021 at 3:05 pm
    So there’s a more contagious variant circulating, and with many more players than expected testing positive and missing games, the solution is to test less? Got it.

    ———

    Zero NFL players or staff have died of Covid

  13. goodellisaclown says:
    December 18, 2021 at 5:25 pm
    How do guys like Tom Moore feel about this? Even a “mild” case can be tough on an older person or anyone with other conditions. Sometimes you need to put your internet medical and constitutional law degrees away and look beyond yourself to do what’s best for the group.

    ——-

    Is Tom Moore vaccinated? Is he concerned? If so, perhaps he should stay home and let others go on with their lives

  14. nhpats2011 says:
    December 18, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    goodellisaclown says:
    December 18, 2021 at 5:25 pm
    How do guys like Tom Moore feel about this? Even a “mild” case can be tough on an older person or anyone with other conditions. Sometimes you need to put your internet medical and constitutional law degrees away and look beyond yourself to do what’s best for the group.

    ——-

    Is Tom Moore vaccinated? Is he concerned? If so, perhaps he should stay home and let others go on with their lives

    _____

    So we should just round up the old people and tell them to quit their worrying because it’s an inconvenience for the rest of us? Sad.

  15. Why test asymptomatic unvaccinated players?

    Oh right, because you want the vaccine to appear affective and to blame unvaxxed for future outbreaks.

    Testing = cases. No testing = no cases.

  16. chickensalad43 says:
    December 18, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Why test asymptomatic unvaccinated players?

    Oh right, because you want the vaccine to appear effective and to blame unvaxxed for future outbreaks.

    ———
    This is exactly right.

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