It was on Sunday afternoon when the twitter hashtag #WeWantToPlay was deliberately used by the NFL stars to convey their message that they want to play. However, they want clear information about safety protocols.
On Monday, the questions of the players have finally reached an answer from the NFL. One of the questions thrown by the players to the committee is the frequency of testing that will be done once they are in the training camp. It was not elaborated on the given guidelines of NFL and NFLA last week.
Dr. Allen Sills, Chief Medical Officer of the league, confirmed that throughout the training camp for the first two weeks, the players, coaches, and staff will undergo testing for COVID-19 daily.
The players association and NFL agreed upon the updated protocols on Monday afternoon. Dr. Sills added that the testing frequency would depend on the positive rates after two weeks. If the rate falls below 5%, the testing will be every other day. However, if the rate rises again over 5%, the testings will be returned to a daily basis.
Safety of the players and staff should be the top priority to pursue the resume of the game; that’s one of the concerns of the Players Association. The league addressed it by saying that before players and staff enter the training camp, they must test negative more than once. It means that they need to undergo several tests first before reporting to the team.
“We are trying to minimize transmission of the virus and mitigate the risk of any player contracting the virus,” Dr. Allen said. “We know we can’t eliminate risk.”
As the league reviews the infectious disease emergency response (IDER) that have been submitted by 32 teams and approved by the experts about the matter and Sills, they have come up with a clear decision and protocols.
The league also addressed concerns of the players regarding the unclear safety protocols. Besides daily testing for the first two weeks, the player’s temperature will be subjected to regular screening. They will also be monitored with the symptoms of the virus and social distancing and wearing masks. They are not even allowed to share towels, water bottles, and other training equipment.
Other than that, the league also came up with an outline of how a person may be a player, coach, or staff member who has tested positive will be handled. The flowchart tweeted by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
The NFL last night sent to clubs COVID-19 protocols for 2020 training camp and preseason, including this detailed breakdown for handling individuals exposed to someone who tested positive: pic.twitter.com/bX7aQzMZTZ— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 4, 2020
Now that the league answered most of the unanswered questions that have been raised by the NFL players, there might be a chance for the NFL season restart.