NFL players will be tested on a daily basis for the coronavirus for at least the first two weeks of training camp.
20 July 2020 18: 44
Updated at 22: 21
The NFL would drop the matches preparatory
The NFL has proposed dropping the preseason matchups this year, said a person familiar with the case.
It was the wish of the Association of the players; the league had instead talked about a schedule of two games out of the contest by team.
But on Monday, a source said that the NFL will move away from preseason matchups and provide players with 18 days to acclimatize, that is, 11 days earlier than planned. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing has been announced officially.
Earlier Monday, the league announced that the players will be tested on a daily basis for the coronavirus for at least the first two weeks of training camp, according to the new protocols.
The recruits Houston and Kansas City were present in the camps on Monday. The recruits of the other teams will start to arrive on Tuesday.
Dr. Allen Sills, chief physician of the NFL, has said that the more of a negative test was needed before the players enter the facility to begin physical examinations, or any form of team activity.
After two weeks of daily testing, if the rate of positivity of these tests falls below 5% among the players and individuals from level I and II, as described in the previous protocols of the NFL, the tests would be carried out every two days. If the positivity rate does not fall below this threshold, daily testing will continue until it drops.
“These protocols are documents that live and breathe, in the sense that they will change as we gain new knowledge about this virus, as we acquire new knowledge on the transmission, as we acquire new knowledge and tests new techniques, said Sills. We expect truly that these protocols will change.”
The NFL has sought the input of other leagues already returned to the action, including leagues outside the country. We don’t know how positive tests would result in the shutdown of the football season.
“These are complex issues that involve many factors, said Sills. We look at much of the point of view of medical and public health. We want to ensure that we create before all the safest environment possible for our players, for our coaches and our staff.
“We also operate in the optical the safest environment for each of the locations of our clubs, which means a continuous communication and regularly with the public health authorities of these regions.”
The league and the NFLPA have already finalized the protocols concerning the movement of teams and the media, and updated the protocol of the facility to address the training camp on the basis of the recommendations of a joint committee of doctors, coaches and trainers conditioning, established by the league and the players union.
“Our union has lobbied for the testing protocols, tracking and processing the strongest to ensure the safety of our players. The test protocols that we have accepted are a critical factor that will help us to return to work safely and will give us the best chance to play and finish the season,” said the union in a press release Monday.
On Friday, the league has sent to players and teams a “protocol education” to the camp, which obliges clubs to distribute educational materials and to organize educational sessions for the players, the staff and the members of the family.
“Everything we do is centred on the concept of risk mitigation, said Sills. We can’t eliminate risks, but we try to mitigate as much as possible to everyone. We know that this will be a shared responsibility.”
Sills emphasized the importance of responsible behaviour far away from the facilities of the teams. Unlike the NBA and NHL, the NFL can’t put his clubs in an environment of type ‘bubble’.
“What is good for the players and what makes players and their families safer, it also makes the coaches, the staff and the teams that are the safest and, very frankly, it makes (also) our communities safer,” said Sills.
The tests will take place at a national laboratory. The league has talked with the CDC; the working group of the White House; a number of public health officials; experts in infectious diseases and the national officials of laboratory medicine, to ensure that the testing protocol would not have a negative impact on the supply of tests or on the health system, in the United States.
“We received a unanimous response at all levels according to which it would not have a negative effect, said Sills. This is a very important point for us, and we take this responsibility very seriously.”