The NFL is taking steps to try and stop the spread of COVID-19 the rest of the season. The league sent a memo to all 32 teams Wednesday informing clubs that they should operate under intensive protocol the rest of the year, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
In that memo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told teams the league felt compelled to make those changes with the holidays approaching.
Teams will have to implement intensive protocol starting Saturday.
Under intensive protocol, players and coaches must have negative test results from the day before in order to enter a team facility. All meetings will be held virtually except in specific scenarios. When in a team facility, everyone must wear face masks. The league is also discouraging players from using the locker room except on game days, according to Judy Battista of NFL.com.
Twenty eight of the 32 NFL teams have utilized intensive protocol in 2020, Goodell states in his memo. He urged clubs to use the next couple days to prepare for the change.
NFL dealing with new positive COVID-19 tests on a weekly basis
While the NFL has yet to cancel any games due to COVID-19, the league continues to battle new virus-related issues every week. Some players, like Buffalo Bills cornerback Josh Norman, have tested positive for the virus and have missed games due to the diagnosis. Others get placed on the COVID-19/reserve list because they’ve come into close contact with another person who has tested positive for the virus. The Las Vegas Raiders will place nearly their entire defense on the COVID-19/reserve list Wednesday after a number of players came into close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.
Players do not have to test positive for coronavirus to be placed on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Under intensive protocol, the league believes it will limit the number of close contacts players interact with on a daily basis.
The NFL believes those measure will help prevent the spread of the virus among teams. Under intensive protocols, fewer players would be exposed if a player tested positive, or came into close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
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