COVID-19 protocols that have been around the NFL are going to be put on hold for a little while. After nearly two full years of restrictions around the league, the NFL just updated a memo saying that operations are going to be returning to normal. A statement that I don’t think anybody really saw coming.
Moving forward, there won’t be much of any requirements unless forced by state or local laws. The memo read, “Based on current encouraging trends regarding the prevalence and severity of COVID-19, the evolving guidance from the CDC, changes to state law and the counsel of our respective experts, the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to suspend all aspects of the joint COVID-19 Protocols. We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of players, coaches and staff, as we have throughout the pandemic.”
However, the memo also states that teams have to remain “in compliance with state and local law and are free to continue reasonable measures to protect their staff and players.” If teams don’t want to stick with these restrictions, then a lot of things will be changed.
COVID-19 Protocols Moving Forward
We just briefly touched on it earlier but first things first, the league won’t demand mandatory surveillance testing. This goes for both coaches and players. Regardless of their vaccination status. Teams will instead have to “identify a space inside the club facility to accommodate at least 10 Mesa docks”. This goes for anybody that reports symptoms.
Players and coaches will also no longer be forced to have tracking devices on their person at all times. A bit of a weird restriction to have in the first place.
Finally, regardless of vaccination status, staff and players won’t have to wear any type of face coverings or masks. Franchises can still opt to require masks if they want. Though it is no longer mandatory.
It should go without saying but the league also made clear that all players and staff must continue to monitor their own health. If they have any symptoms, it must be reported to the medical staff. If the player wants to return, he will need a negative test. They will also have to isolate for five full days following a positive one.
With the Scouting Combine here already, this is all a positive sign. We heard not too long ago that agents were mad at restrictions in place for the Combine. The league lifted those restrictions because of the outrage. This recent lifting of restrictions could be the start of things going back to normal ahead of the upcoming NFL season.
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