The NFL is in a tough spot with COVID cases rising
The NFL has announced that they will be activating their COVID-19 intensive protocol starting this Saturday with cases around the country now surging.
Here’s what that means for teams according to Judy Batista of NFL.com:
That calls for, among other restrictions, all players and coaches must have a negative from the previous day’s testing before entering the facility, in addition to regular daily PCR testing, all meetings being held virtually unless they can be held outdoors or indoors with a pre-approved plan, and for face masks being worn at all times at the facility, including on the practice field by all personnel. All meals must be served in grab and go style to prevent people from congregating in meal rooms. Locker room use is strongly discouraged on non-game days.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent the following memo to all 32 teams today:
“The upcoming holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving next week, will introduce new risks of exposure that we need to address now,” wrote Goodell. “Because we have a highly sophisticated program of daily testing, we know when the virus enters our facilities, which underscores the importance of contact tracing and other steps to minimize close contacts within a facility. Recent experience has highlighted the importance of minimizing high-risk close contacts; on multiple occasions, we have seen individuals identified on that basis test positive within a short time. We have also seen many instances in which effective action by clubs to minimize these close contacts prevented the virus from spreading within the club, and avoided players or coaches being ruled out of practice or games.”
This isn’t a surprise, the NFL also announced this week that this year’s Pro Bowl will be held virtually via the Madden 21 video game.
I really hope the NFL is able to finish this season because with COVID cases surging around the country now, things don’t look good. They do have a plan to end the season early if they have to and add another wild card team from each conference if they have to. But I would imagine that even getting through the entire postseason will be tough as well.
What will be really tough is watching a Super Bowl without a crowd.