NFLPA president: Extend daily testing into season
While they aren’t in a bubble, NFL teams have done a good job of keeping the positive COVID-19 tests at bay.
Now, the president of the NFLPA wants to see the league take steps to not waste the progress, with the season about to begin.
In a post on the union’s website, Browns center JC Tretter encouraged the league to continue daily testing of players and personnel. At the moment, the league and the union have agreed to extend daily testing through Sept. 5.
“You’ve probably heard two keys words used to describe COVID-19: novel and emerging,” Tretter wrote. “That means, this is a new strain of coronavirus; and because of that fact, new information and guidelines will continue to roll in requiring continuous updates to our protocols and recommendations. None of us have the full picture right now, but I’m pleased with the protocols we implemented for training camp.
“In the spirit of adaptability, expect the NFLPA to push for modifications or updated recommendations — such as the continuation of daily testing — as the season progresses and new information becomes available. We will continue to rely on scientific data to inform our approach for combatting this virus. As the science evolves, we will evolve with it.”
Tretter pointed out that from Aug. 12-30, there were a total of 58,397 COVID tests conducted on players and staff across the league, with no players and just six staffers testing positive. That’s a long way from his own doubts about the process early on, as he admitted “there were several moments during the summer where I was not confident that we would have a season at all.”
At the moment, there are just three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, all guys who went on it over the weekend.
The daily testing — giving teams the ability to identify and isolate — is doubtless a significant part of the league’s success so far.
The job will get harder when teams leave the training camp environment (with more free time for players away from the facility), and begin traveling to other cities and playing games. But the union’s pushing for extra steps to maintain the current success.