NFL Takes Step Toward Normalcy With Latest COVID Announcement

On March 3, the NFL and NFLPA sacked its COVID protocols by putting an end to mask-wearing, testing, social distancing and other pandemic-era restrictions.

This offseason, a topic of discussion for the NFL Management Council was whether the League needed to reinstate the protocols as COVID cases spike nationwide.

On Thursday, the council decided that it was time to take another step toward normalcy by doing away with COVID surveillance ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Announced by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the League council opted to eliminate testing and other COVID protocols for unvaccinated and vaccinated players.

Pelissero tweeted:

"The NFL Management Council informed clubs tonight that COVID surveillance testing of players and staff is no longer required, regardless of an individual's vaccination status, per sources."

He added that the NFL's COVID tier system would no longer pertain to traveling family members and all prohibited groups.

The memo reiterated that players are responsible for their decision to remain unvaccinated if they choose.

"COVID testing still should occur 'when clinically indicated and/or at the direction of the Club Physician,' and any individual experiencing symptoms must promptly report them and receive a negative test before entering the club facility.

"In other news from the memo: No more 'Tier' restrictions in facility or travel party, and clubs may individually determine whether to require COVID vaccines/boosters for staff, subject to state law. So unvaccinated coaches who were restricted in 2021 may not be in 2022."

The NFL Management Council was assembled to focus "on implementing the lengthy health and safety protocols designed to protect players, coaches and staff -- and the schedule of games -- from the ravages of the virus."

Will the NFL's post-COVID mindset decide to bring back all fired unvaccinated employees? Will they return the COVID-related fines to teams? Stay tuned.

Check-in with OutKick as details on the story develop.

Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

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Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan. Known for having watched every movie and constant craving for dessert. @alejandroaveela (on X)