Dr. Allen Sills claims asymptomatic players, coaches, staff aren’t spreading COVID in facilities

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As the NFL limps to the finish line under the cloud of a new COVID variant that is ripping through many facilities, NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills contends that players, coaches, and staff without symptoms aren’t responsible for spreading Omicron in the building.

“We’ve really not seen this phenomenon that people have discussed, which is asymptomatic people in the facility spreading virus to others,” Sills told Judy Battista of NFL Media. “As we’ve gone back and looked throughout the entire season, what we’ve seen consistently is when people have symptoms, that’s when they seem to be contagious to others.”

Dr. Sills explained that “it’s all about symptom recognition and prompt testing.” He also suggested that, without weekly testing, the NFL possibly is avoiding situations in which someone who tests negative on a Monday and develops symptoms later in the week assumes it isn’t COVID. Instead, people are now getting tested when they develop symptoms.

Some in league circles reject these claims. While plenty of players, coaches, and staff members seem to be disclosing their symptoms, plenty surely aren’t. Players want to play. If they can conceal their symptoms, many will. Indeed, before they even face the dilemma of whether to volunteer for a test, folks who are committed to showing up and getting the job done will have to pierce through the potentially thick layer of denier.

One source with knowledge of the dynamics of the application of the protocols expressed a belief that the idea that asymptomatic players aren’t spreading the virus is flat-out incorrect. That those who are feeling fine are catching it and spreading it.

Indeed, if vaccinated players who have the virus but don’t have symptoms weren’t a problem, why did the protocols implode last week? It was a rash of asymptomatic positive cases in vaccinated players. They were catching it. They surely were spreading it.

They still are. And even as the league proceeds with new protocols aimed at allowing the NFL to get through the season despite the Omicron surge, the positives continue to pile up. After the postponement of three games in Week 15, it’s hard to imagine the rest of the season unfolding without incident.

Hopefully, it will.

10 responses to “Dr. Allen Sills claims asymptomatic players, coaches, staff aren’t spreading COVID in facilities

  1. That’s weird—so only NFL players can’t spread the virus while shedding it, even if they have no symptoms, but everyone else can?!?!

  2. This is just plain weird. “The NFL where profit drives protocols”. At least they stopped blaming the unvaccinated. Now they are blaming the people with symptoms regardless of vaccination status. This is a slippery slope. The more positive cases the NFL has the more they relax the protocols. Isn’t this the complete opposite of what they should be doing? Why not go back to the pre-vaccine protocols? They worked didn’t they? We had a full season with no cancellations and were able to crown a champion. That is the end game correct?

  3. charger383 says:
    December 23, 2021 at 9:45 pm
    if a player is vaccinated and feels OK let them play

    Because football is more important than ending the pandemic right?

  4. I’m surprised that a health care professional would make such a statement. Then I remembered who he works for.

  5. based on the logic any player who is asymptomatic should be the same. But I am not sure who to believe for the past year I have heard from our government and medical leaders that you can still spread covid even without having symptoms.So both can’t be right.

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