NFL adds news COVID protocols

People are a little confused on the NFL protocols for COVID-19 since the NBA has a bubble keeping the playoffs safe, but what does the NFL have?  

The NFL recently added a new protocol, which is having surveillance cameras in the training facilities and practice areas to make sure everyone is wearing masks. The NFL also lowered the amount of free agents teams can have come to their facilities to try out weekly. 

 NFL CommissionerRoger Goodell said in a memo sent to all teams Monday that, “Protocol violations that result in virus spread requiring adjustments to the schedule or otherwise impacting other teams will result in additional financial and competitive discipline including the adjustment or loss of draft choices or even the forfeit of a game.” 

NFL COVID cases have shot up lately. The Tennessee Titans had at one point 20-some cases including staff and players, and now the Patriots have two positive cases: their starting quarterback Cam Newton and star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, but other teams are somehow staying away from COVID cases.  The Titans’ positive cases came in just days after the Titans vs. Vikings football game, but the Vikings didn’t have any positive cases.

Eric Sugarman, Minnesota Vikings Head Athletic Trainer and Vice President of Sports Medicine and the team’s Infection Control Officer, told SI, “On a football field, you’re not going to have close contact, because the average football play lasts about six seconds,” Sugarman said. “However, you do have continual contact for hours during a football game, so that is a consideration. We did have a few moderate-risk contacts that happened pregame, postgame, whatever it might be. You test them, you monitor them, but we get daily testing, so it’s easy for us. That’s what you’re supposed to do, along with monitoring your symptoms. So we’re all clear from that standpoint right now.” People and staff members all around the NFL are looking to find out exactly what he did to see how to help their team.

Teams are also able to prove and choose how many fans they want in the stadium. The Green Bay Packers, for example, could try to have some fans in the building but they won’t allow anyone in. The Miami Dolphins, on the other hand, have been told they can have 65,000 fans in their stadium, but the Dolphins staff choose to keep it at 13,000 for now.

Breaking the COVID protocols is a horrible thing to do. The protocols aren’t there to restrain you. They are there to keep everyone safe, but teams don’t care. The Tennessee Titans gathered for a secret practice some days ago while they were having their COVID outbreak.  Last week the Titans game was postponed due to their COVID cases and will play whenever possible, but if they can’t play next week against the Bills, the NFL will have to think about if they want to forfeit the game and give it to the Bills since the Titans broke protocol.  

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