The NFL and NFL Players Association took an important step toward reaching an agreement for the 2020 season on Monday, as the league has agreed to the coronavirus testing policy players had been pushing for.
The NFL has agreed to test players every day for COVID-19 when they report to work, a source told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network provided more details of the agreement, noting that the league has agreed to test players every day for the first two weeks of training camp and reevaluate after that based on the positivity rate. If the positive test rate is below 5 percent, the NFL will then test players every other day.
Players will need multiple negative tests before they’re allowed to be in the building for physicals or team activities. That’s a lesson the NFL has taken from other pro leagues: Take it slow. NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills says test results expected within 24 hours.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 20, 2020
Players had been demanding daily coronavirus testing for obvious reasons, and the NFL agreeing shows that the two sides are at least trying to push forward. The next big issue will likely be preseason games, but it sounds like team owners may be willing to give players what they want with that situation as well.
The easiest way to assure players won’t be spreading COVID-19 around is to test every day. There’s always going to be a risk of false negatives or a player contracting the coronavirus in between tests, but testing every day is one way to limit that risk.
Numerous star players took to Twitter on Sunday in what was clearly a coordinated effort to put pressure on the NFL, and it appears it had at least some impact on the negotiations.