The NFL plans to create a COVID-19 classification under the injured reserve umbrella that would give players who test positive for the coronavirus full pay and the chance to return in as few as three weeks, Pro Football Talk reported Thursday.
According to the report, a player who tests positive would be placed on the COVID-19 list and not count against the active roster, allowing the team to add another player. The positive player would be paid as normal and remain on the list for at least three weeks before being eligible to practice.
After the initial three-week period, the player would have to return to the active roster within three more weeks or else revert to injured reserve for the rest of the season.
ESPN reported Wednesday that the NFL Players Association had concerns about how the NFL would classify players who tested positive for the virus, with the worry that the non-football injury designation would be used. NFL rules allow teams to decide whether or not they pay players who are the NFI list.
That concern would appear to be eased by the COVID-19 designation.
Much still must be figured out as teams and players prepare for training camp, which is set to begin for every team in late July.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt wrote Thursday on Twitter that players want to play, but they also would like more information from teams and the league on several matters. Among those are testing protocols, what training camps and preseason will look like and how the team will respond to infections.
(Field Level Media)