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The NFL released updated guidelines on Saturday detailing that a more refined form of COVID testing will occur moving forward as vaccinated players continue to voice their frustrations with the League’s uneven standards.
In a memo to NFL clubs obtained by OutKick, the NFL will no longer require mandatory weekly testing for its vaccinated players, following a tumultuous week where over 100+ positive tests sidelined players — both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Unless a vaccinated player displays symptoms, said player will not need to undergo a COVID test that could endanger their status for an upcoming contest, or in some cases, any set of games to take place in a 10-day isolation period. Unvaccinated players will still be required to test daily.
As relayed by NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero:
Based on pending updates to NFL/ NFLPA protocols, all tier 1 and tier 2 staff do not need to undergo COVID-19 testing, unless you are currently experiencing symptoms (i.e. cough, congestion, fever, body aches, loss of taste/smell, etc.) or you would like to test voluntarily. This change begins tomorrow and testing hours will remain the same. Please report any symptoms through your TeamWorks Screening App or by contacting a member of the medical staff directly. You should not enter the building if you are symptomatic.
The new move finally gives incentives to vaccinated players, unlike the previous set of guidelines that universally tested unvaccinated and vaccinated players. Updates to the new set of rulings on COVID will go into effect on Sunday as Week 15 games begin (no word on Saturday night’s matchup between the Patriots and Colts.) To mitigate any further cases among vaccinated players, the League will roll out “strategic” scheduling to still test the vaxxed group.
Pelissero also released an update from the NFLPA on Friday, stating that the majority of players are in opposition to lasting COVID restrictions and would vote to “eliminate COVID protocols altogether.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela