The NFL updated its COVID-19 guidelines on Friday and will no longer require unvaccinated players to undergo daily testing.
The league and player’s association agreed to align unvaccinated players with protocols developed for vaccinated players and coaches.
Vaccinated players had an existing protocol of undergoing COVID testing only when reporting symptoms.
As the NFL approaches its most critical games of the year, the league finally dropped its charade of testing healthy people.
The NFL is halting daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players.
Only those who report symptoms will be tested. https://t.co/NdXBz0PBO8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2022
Fun Friday news dump…. This article was written after 7PM… I missed the "news" and surprised I haven't seen more on here this AM https://t.co/gyzdU8T8Q3
— Jared Mueller (@JaredKMueller) January 22, 2022
NFL Updates Guidelines To Stop Testing For Both Vaccinated, Unvaccinated Players
— OutKick (@Outkick) January 22, 2022
In a memo sent Friday afternoon to teams, the league said it would add unvaccinated players to its existing symptom screening and testing surveillance programs. Anyone who reports symptoms will be tested.
The NFL’s most recent COVID-19 data release reported that 95% of players and nearly 100% of staff members are vaccinated. The change will apply to a small group of people.
With only eight teams left in the playoffs, there are roughly 12 unvaccinated players remaining, a source told ESPN. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose 90-day testing exemption following a positive case was set to expire soon, is one of them.
In the memo, the NFL wrote: “This comprehensive, symptom-based approach to testing reflects our recent experience with the omicron variant and conforms to current public health recommendations and best practices employed in healthcare, and offers the best opportunity for identifying and treating cases promptly and avoiding spread within the facility.”
A widespread mid-December outbreak, where hundreds of players and staff members tested positive, obliterated the league’s nonsensical COVID testing protocol.
The highly-vaccinated NFL couldn’t avoid the inevitable truckload of breakthrough infections from the omicron variant since the experimental injection offers no protection.
But given that it’s playoff time, money is likely the primary factor driving the NFL’s decision to halt daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players.
Aaron Rodgers, the most prominent known unvaccinated player remaining in the playoffs, will generate millions of viewers when the Packers play.
With playoff football in full swing, it’s no surprise that the NFL wants to avoid compromising the pinnacle of its season — considering college football’s success this year with ditching the COVID hysteria.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated players are still required to report any symptoms related to COVID, making sit-outs a remaining reality for games moving forward.