With the omicron variant making its way into the United States, the NFL and NFLPA had to make sweeping changes to their COVID-19 testing protocols.
The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to massive changes when it comes to COVID-19 testing protocols.
This comes in the wake of three Week 15 games (Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams) being rescheduled mid-week due to massive COVID outbreaks within three clubs (Browns, WFT, Rams). While the omicron variant is considered to be more contagious, it is nowhere near as deadly.
Here are the drastic changes made by the league when it comes to its COVID-19 protocols.
What you need to know about the NFL’s changes to the COVID-19 protocols
The Athletic reports that starting on Sunday, only unvaccinated players and those showing COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for the virus. Asymptomatic players will be tested randomly throughout the rest of the season. Unvaccinated players will still undergo daily testing. This is a major change from the frequent testing the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to nearly two years ago.
Two other changes include being able to provide players at-home testing, as well as vaccinated players deemed high-risk close contacts will be tested after a confirmed positive case. This all comes about after Cleveland, Los Angeles and Washington all having over 20 players test positive, but most experiencing none to the very mildest of symptoms. The adjustments have been made.
Going forward, people are just going to have to accept asymptomatic players with the virus will be playing in NFL games, with most of whom not being tested with any great regularity.