It appears that we’re getting closer to the start of Training Camp in the National Football League.
Numerous sources are reporting that the NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed on the COVID-19 testing protocols that will be necessary for the 2020 NFL season to officially get underway.
According to Judy Battista of NFL.com, players will be tested every day for the first two weeks of Training Camp, and it is expected that players will need multiple negative tests in order to enter team facilities. After the initial two weeks, the league will examine the positive test rate, and if it falls below 5% testing will go to every other day rather than every day.
Close, Personal Friend of The Daily Norseman Tom Pelissero™ is reporting that players will be tested on Days 1 and 4 of Training Camp, with two days of “virtual education” in between. Presumably, if both of those tests are negative, players will be allowed to take their physicals and start Training Camp.
There are also several protocols in place for players that test positive, per Battista’s report.
If a player tests positive but has no symptoms, he can return to the facility 10 days after the initial positive test or if he receives two consecutive negative tests within five days of the initial positive test. If the player has a positive test and symptoms, he can return after at least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours have passed since he last experienced symptoms.
Players who have close contact with someone who has symptoms will be tested and isolated as soon as possible. If the test is negative, and the player continues to have no symptoms, he may return to the facility but will have increased symptom monitoring and more frequent testing. If the player has close contact with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test, he will be tested and even if the test is negative and the player has no symptoms, he would need a second negative test before being allowed to return.
In light of this, the Minnesota Vikings have altered their timelines for players reporting to camp. Rookies were initially supposed to report tomorrow, 21 July, but now “Rookies, Quarterbacks, and Select Players” will report on Thursday, 23 July, with the rest of the team still reporting a week from Tuesday on 28 July.
The NFL and NFLPA are still negotiating a few things, such as the number of preseason games, but this was obviously the biggest hurdle that needed to be cleared in order for Training Camps to get underway across the league.
As we have been throughout this process, we will continue to keep an eye on everything that’s going on with the fluid COVID-19 situation and how it affects the Vikings and the 31 other teams that we don’t pay as much attention to.