The league is waiting for the NFLPA to sign off on changes to preseason games and COVID-19 testing
In response to the rising concerns from NFL players regarding the safe start of the upcoming 2020 NFL season amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has been working out a deal with the league. Both parties have made a new change to the suggested rules for the training camps to welcome players back this week and next, and the most important one is that, during the first two weeks, there will be a daily coronavirus testing protocol in place. From there, the testing phase will be spread, but not until the overall positive test rate is lower than 5%.
The process will consist of daily testing during the first two weeks. If the positive test rate goes below 5% in that period, the testing will be done every other day. On the other hand, if after two weeks of initial testing the number of positive cases doesn’t go below 5%, the league will continue with daily testing until the rate drops. If at some point the positive cases go above 5% again, then daily testing will be conducted again.
“This is ongoing work. There’s no finish line with health and safety, and I think these protocols are living, breathing documents, which means they will change as we get new information. They will undoubtedly be changing over time, which is what we usually see in medicine,” said NFL’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills on Monday.
During the weekend, several prominent NFL players took over social media to urge the NFL to listen to the recommendations to safely open training camps amid the pandemic, so this decision came in response to those concerns. In addition, the league is considering removing all preseason games, which is something the NFLPA has been pushing for.