NFL changes COVID protocol

IRVING, Texas (AP) – The NFL is planning “significant changes” to COVID-19 a person familiar with the plans told the Associated Press on Wednesday night.

The person, who declined to be named because details have not been finalized, said the league and the NFL Players Association are discussing three main areas: testing protocols; reverting to gameplay to allow asymptomatic players who have tested positive to return earlier; and encourage booster shots.

On Monday, the federation notified coaches, office staff and other team employees to receive the COVID-19 booster by December 27. The players were not included in the assignment. because the federation does not mandate vaccination.

The new coronavirus variant has been found among a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the NFL in what the league’s chief medical officer is calling a new phase of the pandemic.

Allen Sills said NFL owners were told in Wednesday’s meetings that booster shots were central to efforts to mitigate the spread, with Sills saying omicron variation was expected. will become the dominant bacterial strain in the United States.

The league said the number of positive cases for Monday and Tuesday ended at 88, but with players coming and going on the roster, around 100 is more accurate.

However, Commissioner Roger Goodell said there are no plans to cancel or postpone Clevelandhome to face the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday. The Browns have 18 players, including half of their 22 starters, on the COVID-19 reserve list.

“Listen, we’ve been raising this for the past two years: It’s a challenge,” Goodell said. “I think what makes us successful is keeping safety first. Second, be ready to adapt at all times. It’s clear that even in the last few weeks the changes are quite significant and different from the past and I think it’s called revisions to our protocol in general and that we’re working on. players association about that. “

Sills said about two-thirds of positive test results come from people who have no symptoms. Asked if there was a chance the NFL would allow vaccinated players who tested positive to play if they had no symptoms, Sills said discussions with the federation were ongoing.

“It’s not about how soon we get them back,” says Sills. “We want to bring them back when it’s safe for them and when they pose no risk of transmitting it to others.”

NFLPA President JC Tretter made another request for daily testing amid the COVID-19 spike, but Sills said testing isn’t the best way to address major virus spread concerns. than the union.

Sills said players are testing positive more often than NFL staff, a change from the beginning of the pandemic. According to Sills, for the past week or so, contagion within the team’s facilities has been a greater concern in the community.

In addition to discussions with the union, Sills said he is trying to use video to educate players about the extra shot.

“This is urgent for us, like always,” said Sills. “And I think we’ve tweaked and changed our protocol at each stage, just based on what the data is telling us and where it drives us to get there. That is what we will continue to do here.”

In other news, league owners have approved Las Vegas as the Super Bowl venue to host the 2023 season, the first ever gambling mecca in the Nevada desert.

The NFL’s biggest event will come after the Pro Bowl this season and the NFL draft next year, all within five years of the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas.

The 2024 Super Bowl was supposed to take place in New Orleans, but a day later due to a new 17-match regular season created conflict with that city’s annual Mardi Gras celebration.

“It’s a big day for the Raiders,” said club owner Mark Davis. “It was a big day for the city of Las Vegas. I think it’s a marriage made in heaven, I would say. Someone else might use a different word.”

The Super Bowl will take place at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles for the first time this season. State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, will host its third Super Bowl after the 2022 season.

The NFL also announced marketing deals for 18 teams with countries around the world, including Germany, China, Spain, Australia and Brazil. They join countries with longer ties to the NFL: the UK, Mexico, and Canada.

Marketing deals last at least 5 years and give clubs the ability to pursue direct marketing and digital marketing, merchandise sales and corporate sponsorships, among other things.

The league is expanding the Rooney Rule requirement to at least two interviews with outside minority candidates for general manager-level jobs along with coordinator for offensive, defensive and special teams.

The two-candidate rule has been applied to head coach slots. The window for virtual interviews will now open after Week 16 for clubs that have fired their coach or informed him he will not be returning.

While longer access to interviews isn’t limited to minority coaches, the NFL hopes it will allow more minority candidates to interview instead of waiting for their current team’s playoff game. they finish. NFL changes COVID protocol


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