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NFL COVID-19 PROTOCOL

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
I thought that it would be more appropriate to post this in the NFL section rather than the COVID thread.


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NFLPA to players: NFL memo regarding pandemic protocols was sent without union approval

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC SportsJun 8, 2020, 12:16 PM

To the extent that the NFL and NFL Players Association are discussing procedures for players returning to work during the pandemic, the union contends that Sunday’s memo to all teams establishing specific protocols was sent without NFLPA approval.

“Some of you have been contacted by your clubs about coming back into the facility to workout, or rehab, citing a memo from the NFL,” the communication to all players from the NFLPA explains. “We write to inform you that we do NOT have an agreement to allow additional players to come back into the facilities at this point, and the League’s memo was sent to Clubs without the approval of your union.”

The union reiterates that players undergoing active medical treatment or rehab are permitted to be at the facility, and nothing more.

“We advise that you stay home and stay safe during this time as we continue to work through return-to-work protocols to keep you safe,” the message states.

This specific incident is a reminder of the ever-present potential for miscommunications, misunderstandings, and flat-out disagreements regarding any and all potential terms relating to players showing up for practices, meetings, games, etc. Ultimately, the NFL will go the way of the NBA or the NHL, which is on track to return to action, or Major League Baseball, which could end up losing the entire season over an inability between labor and management to strike an acceptable deal.

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I was sent a prepublication copy of the OFFICIAL NFL COVID-19 PROTOCOL [I am sharing it with you attached as a PDF below].

I have to say that it was hard for me to keep from chuckling while I was reading it. The Policy had so many things in it that could in no way be realistically instituted or maintained ......and not one word as to what would happen with players who tested positive (and those that came in contact with them). Research has already told us that a negative COVID-19 antigen viral nasal swab test has a 30% chance of actually being a false negative. This is light of the recent study published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine that essentially revealed that the most common nasal swab test has a greater than 50% chance that if negative during the asymptomatic phase of the disease, it will actually be a false negative result.
 

Attachments

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Schutt Creates Splash Shield to Protect Football Players from Harmful Droplets

(PRNewsfoto/Schutt Sports)

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Schutt Sports
Jun 05, 2020, 10:00 ET
https://www.texanstalk.com/javascript%3Avoid(0)
LITCHFIELD, Ill., June 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Schutt Sports, one of the world's leading manufacturers of protective equipment, announces it is manufacturing a new Splash Shield that will offer some protection for football players from harmful droplets caused by talking, sneezing and coughing in close proximity. The Splash Shield will attach directly to the faceguard. Not only will the new Splash Shield fit all configurations of football helmets, but these guards are light weight, easy to attach and clean and inexpensive enough to be disposable.
Schutt Sports' Splash Shield that will offer some protection for football players from harmful droplets caused by talking, sneezing and coughing in close proximity.

Schutt Sports' Splash Shield that will offer some protection for football players from harmful droplets caused by talking, sneezing and coughing in close proximity.

Schutt will offer the Splash Shield for purchase by July, both through their dealer network and online.

"We need sports to return and this new product will help players in that regard," said Kip Meyer, general manager for Schutt Sports. "We are excited to introduce a product that benefits the players, the industry and ultimately, the fans."

The Splash Shield is made of a clear optical material and has slotted tabs for ease in connecting the product to any faceguard on any helmet. While the Splash Shield will offer some protection, it can only limit exposure to airborne droplets that the athlete encounters during play.

"The debut of the Splash Shield is perfect timing for teams all over the world, and especially in the U.S., as we are preparing to get ready for football season," Meyer said.

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CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Harbaugh apparently has as much confidence in the NFL COVID Protocol as I do.

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Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh: Parts of NFL’s reopening plan are ‘humanly impossible’
Today 6:03 PM

By Aaron Kasinitz | akasinitz@pennlive.com

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on a radio show Thursday he’s grown frustrated reading memos from the NFL that detail protocols for how team facilities must reopen in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

One such memo, which several reporters published this week, said teams must space player lockers out by six feet. It asked coaches to hold virtual or outdoor meetings when possible and to limit strength and conditioning workouts to 15 players to allow for social distancing.

“I’ve seen all the memos on that, and to be quite honest with you, it’s impossible what they’re asking us to do. Humanly impossible,” Harbaugh said in an appearance on 105.7 The Fan’s Inside Access. “We’re going to do everything we can do. We’re going to space, we’re going to have masks. But, you know, it’s a communication sport. So if we want to get out there and have any idea what we’re going to be able to do, we have to communicate with each other in person. We have to practice.”

The NFL informed teams Thursday that no in-person minicamps would be allowed next month. The Ravens, along with most other franchises across the league, are bracing to welcome players back to their headquarters late next month and open training camp July 28.

In the meantime, the league and the NFL Players Association can continue bargaining on guidelines for a safe return to work.

Harbaugh told hosts on 105.7 The Fan he’s hopeful to see more clarity before training camp begins.

“I’m pretty sure the huddle is not going to be six feet spaced,” he said. “Are guys going to shower one at a time all day? Are guys going to lift weights one at a time all day? These are things the league and the PA needs to get a handle on and needs to get agreed with some common sense so we can operate in a 13-hour day in training camp that they’re giving us and get our work done. That’s the one thing, you can tell by my voice, I’m a little frustrated with what I’m hearing there. And I think they need to get that pinned down a little better.

“Now maybe we’ll know more in two months and they’ll be able to be a little more realistic and practical in what they’re asking. I expect that to be the case. I think good people, smart people are involved in this. But the way I’m reading these memos right now, you throw your hands up and you go, ‘What the heck? There’s no way this can be right.’”

THE REST OF THE STORY

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Has anyone here seen the Packers locker room?...........it's virtually the size of a large walk-in closet. Not a chance in hell of 6 ft distancing unless only a couple players are allowed in at a time.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
NFL nixes minicamps, extends virtual offseason program window
June 11, 2020


The NFL has opted to extend its virtual offseason program in lieu of not conducting any in-person minicamps due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed all 32 teams in a memo that teams can continue to hold their respective virtual programs through June 26. Several NFL teams, including the Texans, chose to wrap up their virtual programs this week.

The NFL and NFL Players Association are still working on protocols for holding training camps in July. NFL players still can't enter team facilities unless they are rehabilitating from an injury. It's voluntary for players to enter team facilities for treatment.

"As you know, we have been working with the NFLPA and several joint medical task forces to develop protocols that will permit football activities safely to resume at club facilities," Goodell wrote. "To date, we have finalized protocols governing the operation of facilities and establishing mandatory educational programs for players and essential football personnel. Protocols addressing testing, treatment, training camp, travel and games will be finalized and distributed in the near term.

"Although under a traditional schedule, mandatory minicamps are scheduled to open next week, after discussion with the CEC, we have concluded that it would be prudent not to hold in-person minicamps under the current circumstances and have instead determined to extend the Virtual Period through and including June 26."
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
There is no way the NFL can safely reopen under normal standard operating procedures with locker rooms full of athletes and crowded stadiums, at least for this year. After a vaccine comes out, maybe then. It will be interesting to see what they end up doing, but this years NFL games, if there are any, are going to look very different. If for no other reason than the restrictive work out schedules will be leaving players unready for the physical games.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Locker Rooms Are Petri Dishes. Can the N.F.L. Clean Up Before Training Camp?
The lack of virus protocols as July’s camps approach has left many in football unsure about safety in a sport that requires contact on nearly every play and cramped quarters inside team facilities.

By Ken Belson
June 16, 2020

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Although the article doesn't emphasize it, keep in mind that in TC, each team will be having to "monitor" the activities and status of 90 players (not final roster numbers).

Also not mentioned in the article, the NFL COVID Protocol has NOT been approved by the NFLPA.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The NFL discussions apparently are based on concern for loss of players to the COVID-19. Consideration for a potential huge increase of 4 players only reflects what to expect from the mental giants behind the yet to be enumerated NFL COVID Policy. :popcorn:

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Expansion of practice squads from 12 to 16 is under consideration
June 17, 2020, 9:19 PM EDT

As the NFL further processes the challenges of playing 269 total games that count amid an ongoing pandemic, the NFL is beginning to realize that more players than usual will likely be needed.

NFL Media reports that conversations are occurring regarding the possibility of expanding the practice squads from 12 to 16 per team. While that’s helpful, that probably won’t be nearly enough to have players ready in the event that a team experiences a coronavirus outbreak.

The XFL had an entire team of players who were kept ready to go, in the event that any of the eight teams needed to call someone up. The NFL should consider an approach like this, with multiple extra rosters that are kept away from any of the NFL’s 32 teams and that are ready to supply players as needed. Maybe four teams need to be maintained in game shape in the event a given NFL team needs to replace not one or two players on short notice but as many as 10 or 15.

Will that affect the quality of play? Absolutely. But a bad game is better than no game. If the league was willing to bring in 28 teams of replacements for any-pizza-is-good-pizza football during the 1987 strike, the league needs to be ready to move quickly to replace players in a pandemic. Four extra practice-squad players per team won’t cut it. Four extra entire teams that are kept game ready and away from the 32 NFL franchises might.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The NFL has basically said that they will be screening everyone coming into the facilities with temperature checks to further ensure safety conditions. There's a problem with this............it has been shown that 2/3rds of COVID patients presenting for hospitalization are afebrile...........i.e., have no fever.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Let's understand that the NFL's Chief Medical Officer who is concocting the new NFL COVID Protocol procedures is the same physician who has overseen the NFL Concussion Protocol.........which should be a strong hint of how much success we can expect in this season's COVID challenge.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Patriots let season ticket holders with COVID-19 risks skip 2020, return in 2021

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Under the circumstances, this is a very narrow criteria for season ticket holders being able to opt out of the upcoming season (if there is one). You cannot fairly mandate the fear factor out of the proposed stadium "fan experience." And, of course, there is no mention of how PSLs will be handled, as they are actually owned by the stadium owners, not necessarily the NFL or team owners.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
With what has already occurred with the loss of the offseason.........along with the proposed restrictions placed by the new CBA and the NFL COVID Protocol, leaving players grossly unprepared..........I expect to see a scenario similar to this:

1592664999141.png
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The NFL had no offseason workouts in 2020, but plenty of players have worked out together on their own. Because of reported positive tests in players participating in such activities (such as 49ers, Cowboys and Bucs), the NFLPA officially has asked them to stop.
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
Tom Brady, Bucs still working out despite team’s positive COVID-19 cases
The NFLPA doctor recently recommended stopping private workouts during the pandemic, but at least a dozen Bucs players were back at Berkeley Prep on Tuesday.

This really depends upon who else they are coming into contact - If its just that group of players , the risk is small. If its that group of players , their families , trainers , doctors and their families , hired help and such …. the risk increases exponentially.
 

cuppacoffee

Resident Grouch
Guess these players still think they are going to be playing this year.

Not looking like a sure thing right now.

:coffee:
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Hmmm. Why do I detect conflict of interest between safety and politicians (especially with city, county, or state stadium ownership)?
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NFL to allow teams to set varying fan capacity levels when season commences
By Daniel Kaplan Jun 23, 2020

The NFL will let teams set different attendance capacity limits when the schedule starts in August with the preseason, meaning some clubs could play in front of full, or nearly full stadiums and some before no fans. That could lead to questions about competitive equity, and whether the league should allow teams in empty or near-empty stadiums to pipe in crowd noise when the opposing team is on offense.

The league communicated to clubs that they follow local health COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing rules, which vary greatly state to state and are not always, arguably, in line with the trend line of local coronavirus cases. In other words, as of now, the NFL will not dictate capacity thresholds no matter the virus penetration on the ground.

“Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing,” said one NFL source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of coronavirus planning in NFL. “It will not be a one size fits all."
 

StarStruck

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
The NFL has canceled the HOF game and postponed the enshrinement for this year. At this point, I am not holding out much hope for a regular football season.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
I've brought this up with respects to season/PSL ticket holders and NFL personnel.

Now, someone else appears to be thinking about the same.

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NFL’s plans for 2020 must allow players, coaches to opt out
June 25, 2020, 1:06 PM EDT


As the NFL and NFL Players Association work toward an agreement (hopefully) that will allow the 2020 season to be played, an important consideration cannot be forgotten: Any players or coaches who decide that they are not comfortable participating in the season as structured must be given a chance to opt out, without penalty.

Whether a player or coach (or anyone else who would be working directly in professional football) is concerned about his or her own health or the health of a family member or the potential impact of participation in the football business on public health generally, there must be a way for them to conscientiously choose to take a year off — without consequence.

The problem, of course, is that consequences will be unavoidable. Unlike season-ticket holders, who in some (hopefully all) cities won’t lose dibs on their seats if they skip 2020, players, coaches, trainers, etc. will be replaced in 2020. And the replacement could perform well enough to keep the job in 2021.

Then there’s the question of compensation. What will those who choose not to participate be paid? Will there be a separate fund to cover those who believe that it’s not right for them or for someone close to them or for anyone to play amid the pandemic? Or will it simply become a GoFundMe issue, with those who sacrifice NFL jobs in 2020 relegated to whatever others will give them to replace their income?

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If this isn't handled well, I can see another basis for lawsuits flying.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Domed stadiums could accommodate fans
June 26, 2020, 7:54 PM EDT

The NFL strongly believes that it’s much harder to transmit the coronavirus in an outdoor setting than in a confined indoor space. So what about domed stadiums, which technically are indoors?

As a source with knowledge of the league’s thinking explains it to PFT, open-air stadiums are the best for games with fans, and domes with retractable roofs should be opened whenever practical. However, domed stadiums can still work.

Per the source, NFL domes have ventilation systems with the capacity to circulate air effectively. They’ve been designed, for example, to clean our the air in the event of an aerosol attack from terrorists. Thus, the ventilation systems should be able to remove internal air and replace it with external air, fairly effectively.

So if, in a given state, county, and city, fans can attend a game, the fact that the game will be played in a dome shouldn’t keep fans from showing up — even though it is better to play with no roof, if possible.
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To do this effectively in an enclosed domed stadium or a moving roof stadium, the air exchange would have to be performed extremely quickly and completely. To expect a domed stadium to do this, or to remove viruses effectively from such an enclosed environment is science fiction. But I guess the NFL will put anything out there to make fans feel secure and bring them back in as soon as possible.
 

cuppacoffee

Resident Grouch
Domed stadiums could accommodate fans
June 26, 2020, 7:54 PM EDT

The NFL strongly believes that it’s much harder to transmit the coronavirus in an outdoor setting than in a confined indoor space. So what about domed stadiums, which technically are indoors?

As a source with knowledge of the league’s thinking explains it to PFT, open-air stadiums are the best for games with fans, and domes with retractable roofs should be opened whenever practical. However, domed stadiums can still work.

Per the source, NFL domes have ventilation systems with the capacity to circulate air effectively. They’ve been designed, for example, to clean our the air in the event of an aerosol attack from terrorists. Thus, the ventilation systems should be able to remove internal air and replace it with external air, fairly effectively.

So if, in a given state, county, and city, fans can attend a game, the fact that the game will be played in a dome shouldn’t keep fans from showing up — even though it is better to play with no roof, if possible.
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To do this effectively in an enclosed domed stadium or a moving roof stadium, the air exchange would have to be performed extremely quickly and completely. To expect a domed stadium to do this, or to remove viruses effectively from such an enclosed environment is science fiction. But I guess the NFL will put anything out there to make fans feel secure and bring them back in as soon as possible.

Come on Doc. Throw us a crumb. :)

Helicopters overhead the dome stadiums? Rice stadium, here we come?

Masses have to have the diversion offered up by football.

Humans are losing their faculties. It's on the news every day 24 hours non-stop. :shots:

We've resuscitated the dreaded NSZ for cryin' out loud.
j/k

:coffee:
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Most of the same questions I've posted I also have. Solutions to many of these questions still seem unattainable.


In recent weeks, USA TODAY Sports polled players, coaches, team employees and league and union officials about uncertainties they face while awaiting training camp. All of them spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the discussions. These are the most pressing questions they raised.

1. How will testing and contact tracing be handled?

The question ranks among the most important and commonly asked. Players want to know the frequency of which they’ll be tested, who will administer the tests and how their teams will respond to positive findings. NFL and NFLPA officials are in the process of trying to determine which lab will be used for the testing and which testing method will provide the most accurate results. The possibility of false negatives concerns many, and some players wondered if they should worry about whether teams would be honest in sharing test results leading up to big games. A third-party testing service would help avoid such a predicament, as would players having online access to all of their medical reports.

Meanwhile, the possible response to positive tests also raises other questions. Will the affected player be sent away and the rest continue to practice? Will teammates quarantine as well? What risks does this create for players’ family members? Will a rash of positive tests force an interruption of training camp for the entire team? Will the whole league then hit the pause button?

2. What does the acclimation period look like?

Training camp usually opens with a conditioning test for all players and then three pad-free practice days before the hitting begins. This year, players have worked on their own to stay in shape, but rushing back to full action too quickly can subject them to additional risk of injury.

It’s going to be impossible to go from zero to 60 on the first day or even the first week of training camp. So there’s a strong possibility that the preseason will be reduced from four to two games to allow for a longer ramp-up period, which would also give teams more time to develop game-day protocols amid COVID-19 restrictions. But the specifics of the ramp-up, practice schedules and workloads remain undetermined.

3. How will social distancing work for a football organization?

Bringing a football team back together involves the congregating of a large body of people. That goes against social-distancing requirements. Training camp rosters typically feature 90 players. Roughly 25 individuals fill out a coaching staff. And then you have the training staff, front office members and non-football staff members.

Some states, including New Jersey and Michigan, are allowing outdoor gatherings of 250 people. But not all team activities can take place outside the walls of the team facility, including ones in the locker room or auditorium for full-squad meetings.

There have been discussions within NFLPA circles about reducing training camp roster sizes from 90 to 75-80 players. However, it’s unclear whether such a proposal would actually fly. Some within the players' union aren’t in favor of such a change because of the diminished employment opportunities that a numbers crunch would translate into. Another possibility involved still having 90 members per team but not bringing all of them to camp, and instead keeping some in reserve to plug in if others contract coronavirus and have to be quarantined.

LINK
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The NFL is seriously considering having every attending fan sign a COVID-19 waiver. Just like the colleges that are purporting such a policy, they better have lots of time, money and attorneys on standby. That's besides all the great PR it will generate concerning the already questionable League COVID-19 preparedness policies to protect all those involved.
 
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CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
NFL will not have a supplemental draft this year
Posted by Michael David Smith on July 1, 2020, 4:02 PM EDT

There will be no supplemental draft in 2020.

Despite some talk that there could be an increase in players entering the supplemental draft because players who are uncertain about the status of the college football season would rather turn pro, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that the NFL informed all 32 teams today that no supplemental draft will take place this year.

Although the Collective Bargaining Agreement gives provides for the possibility of a supplemental draft each year, there’s no rule requiring it.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
NFL To Cut Preseason Schedule In Half
July 1st, 2020 at 3:18pm CST by Sam Robinson

The rumors of the NFL eliminating half its preseason slate produced action Wednesday afternoon. The league is planning to slash its preseason slate, according to Pro Football Talk (on Twitter).

This comes shortly after the league nixed the Hall of Fame Game. Now, teams’ August schedules will be trimmed from four games to two. This will open the door for the long-rumored acclimation period — which will allow for increased conditioning after the virtual offseason. This process will stand to help prevent some injuries players could sustain after spending the offseason working out on their own.

Weeks 1 and 4 will be cut, according to PFT (via Twitter). Every team’s two-game slate will feature one home game and one away tilt, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets. Instead of locking in every team’s Week 2 and Week 3 preseason opponents, the league is in favor of keeping short-travel games on the docket, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano tweets. The new schedule is expected to be released later this week.

Teams’ preseason openers will be played between Aug. 20-24, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com reports. This will give teams an extra week to prepare players amid the pandemic. This year’s preseason was scheduled to begin a bit later than usual, with the original schedule wrapping up Sept. 3. But instead of eliminating Weeks 1-2 from the preseason slate, the NFL will trim that Sept. 3 game. This will give teams more time in between the preseason and regular season.

Although the preseason has continued to mean less and less, with some teams opting to rest starters throughout, Wednesday’s decision will mean limited game action for rookies hoping to make impressions. The virtual offseason prevented young players from key onsite work, and a truncated preseason will reduce the opportunities they’ll have to stand out on film for other teams considering waiver claims. No joint practices will cut down on those chances as well.

Today’s news could well mean the end of the four-game preseason. The new CBA gives the NFL the option of transitioning to the 17-game regular-season schedule as soon as 2021. Considering the revenue that is at risk of being lost because of what could be a fanless season, it would not surprise if the league moved to 17 games as soon as possible. That format calls for a three-game preseason.
THE REST OF THE STORY
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The NFLPA has still not agreed to anything regarding a new season structure...........according to the CBA, they may not be locked into having to play ANY PRESEASON GAMES AT ALL. If this happens, expect to enjoy the NFL version of the Sandlot Football League...........and even greater expanded Injury Reports.

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The NFL has decided to cut the preseason in half. NFL Media reports that the NFL Players Association has yet to sign off on this. Which makes sense, because the NFLPA hasn’t signed off on anything, including the league’s protocol for facility and locker-room virus safety.

The NFLPA doesn’t have to sign off on the length of the preseason, however. The 2020 labor deal states only that the league may, in a season with 16 regular-season games, hold no more than four preseason games. If the NFL wants to cut the preseason from four to two, it can.

The broader point is that everything currently is on the table, as the NFL and NFLPA continue to hash out the details for training camp, the preseason, and the regular season. The NFLPA has the ability to push for no preseason games; the NFL would want some other concession for that.

link
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
“Opt out” rights for players could create a complicated set of issues
Posted by Mike Florio on July 2, 2020, 2:47 PM EDT

As the NFL and NFL Players Association try to reach a comprehensive agreement on the contours and requirements of football season in a pandemic, one of the most important issues for discussion relates to the ability of players to make the conscientious decision to opt out.

Other sports are doing it, and the NFL should, too. Players can choose not to play in 2020, forfeiting their salary but incurring no other penalties, like fines or bonus forfeitures.

On the surface, it’s a simple, binary choice. But, like everything else relating to the pandemic, the question quickly becomes complicated. Here are just some of the questions that the opt-out issue sparks.

First, must the decision be made before training camp, or will players have a chance to show up, see the facility, experience practice, and make a decision later?

Second, should players have the ability to opt out at any time, if/when they decide based on the total circumstances that the risk no longer justifies playing?

Third, could players have the ability to tap out and then tap back in? Or will the decision to leave be final and binding?
THE REST OF THE STORY
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Several college football leagues have pushed back their season (if they even can play) since a number of players have already tested positive during their strength and conditioning sessions. Many have concluded that there is a significant possibility that the college season if there is one may be pushed into the spring. College officials have approached the NFL to push back the 2021 Draft in the event this occurs. The NFL has responded with a resounding "NO!!"

As I see it now, this could easily all become a moot issue.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
This is getting ridiculous. If the NFLPA gets its way, unless there are significant rules changes, essentially no field preparation outside of intrasquad practice (no joint practices will be allowed) with virtually no full-speed contact allowed by the CBA to begin with................expect sandlot quality ball when the season opens while the medical staff is being kept busy overtime.

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NFLPA reps recommend not playing any preseason games
Posted by Josh Alper on July 3, 2020, 2:24 PM EDT


The NFL Players Association held a pair of conference calls with players on Thursday and Friday to discuss the protocols and concerns surrounding the return to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the topics up for discussion was the preseason schedule. The NFL moved to cut the schedule from four games to two games earlier this week, but word from those calls is that players are looking for a deeper cut.

Dan Graziano of ESPN reports that player reps voted to recommend playing no preseason games this summer while on Thursday’s call. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that the union has discussed a camp schedule that would have three days of medical and equipment checks and three weeks of strength and conditioning work before moving into multiple weeks of practice ahead of the first week of the regular season.

There’s been no sign that the league is ready to scrap the rest of the preseason schedule, but it will likely be talked about as both sides work to come up with a firm plan for how to move forward with the 2020 season.
 

edo783

Hall of Fame
Gee, that sounds like the perfect way to operate. Nothing could possibly be a better way to operate. Everyone safe and functioning like a well like machine! Yay, good football is coming to a town near you!
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
It just keeps getting better...............

Players want no 11-on-11 activities during practice
July 4, 2020, 12:51 PM EDT

When it’s time to play games in 2020, 11-on-11 scenarios will be unavoidable. The league’s players hope that 11-on-11 football will otherwise be avoided, entirely.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL Players Association wants to limit activities that increase the risk of coronavirus transmission during the 2020 season. This includes, but is not limited to, a request that there be no 11-on-11 activities during practice.

The union also wants limited practices and group activities in the days leading up to travel and games, with restrictions applying as of Thursday of a given week, in order to permit accurate testing and to limit transmission of the virus.

Basically, the players are willing to accept that certain risks are inherent to playing football games in a pandemic. The goal is to find ways to minimize the risks during practices, allowing players to be prepared without putting them in a position that involves close proximity and exposure to respiratory droplets, sweat, saliva, blood, etc.

It remains to be seen whether the league will agree. Coaches surely won’t be thrilled about the prospect of no 11-on-11 practice sessions.

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How 'bout if we just don't practice at all, and just show up on Sundays? :hankpalm:
 

edo783

Hall of Fame
I am sure more than one fumduck would be in favor of that. Better yet, just give me my money and call it a day!
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Adequacy, accuracy of testing hover over NFL’s return
July 6, 2020, 1:26 PM EDT


As the NFL and NFL Players Association try to hammer out an agreement on the protocols for training camp, the preseason (if there is one), and the regular season, testing continues to be the one factor that will most dramatically impact the execution of the final plan.

It needs to be readily available. It needs to be reliable. It needs to be fast. For now, there’s no guarantee that all three boxes will be checked.

The powers-that-be have believed for months that, by August or September, rapid-result testing based on saliva or a finger prick will be available. Last week, the the director of the National Institutes of Health expressed optimism that a test producing results in less than an hour will be available before football season begins.

“We want to see Americans have a chance to have some normal experiences of enjoying life,” Dr. Francis Collins told a Senate subcommittee regarding the availability of testing in time for the first kicking of a football. “I do believe this should be possible.”

Currently, that’s not the case — as evidenced by the delayed test results for the Washington Nationals.

The NFLPA wants daily testing at the outset of training camp, with frequency re-evaluated based on the rate of false negatives. The union also wants to move as quickly as possible from the mid-nasal swab to a saliva-based test.

Ideally, all players, coaches, and other key personnel will be tested on a daily basis. It’s critical to keep out of the facility, the locker room, the practice field, and/or the stadium anyone who may have the virus. Even with daily testing, false negatives have been an issue in other settings; a false negative could light the fuse on an outbreak for an NFL team.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
I saw this coming. Another sticking point has come up............a big sticking point. The NFLPA insist players have an opt out to this season, without penalty beyond loss of salary. The league is adamantly opposed to such a move. All other leagues have incorporated an opt out. The implications of having an NFL player opt out are potentially just as troublesome as not having one. :stirpot:
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
I read that the Ravens reduced their seating capacity this season to 14,000. Since the Texans and Cowboys stadiums have retractable roofs I’m curious to the numbers they are considering. Back in the good old days, the Ravens were on my road trip list.
The 49ers also have announced that they will be reducing their seating...........if fans are ever allowed. As far as the Texans and Cowboys stadium, both have had a large number of complaints of heat and poor circulation when the roofs are open, especially with the ambient temps above 80 degrees. The Texans especially have a problem with this since the stadium, rather than being in splayed arrangement, is vertical and compacted. Neither of these stadiums offer the full advantages of a true open air stadium..............with or without COVID.
 
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CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The NFL and NFLPA are still in hot debate over the possibility of NFL-mandated face shields.

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J.J. Watt has no interest in playing football while wearing a face shield
July 9, 2020, 8:06 AM EDT

Many if not most (if not all) players don’t want them. The league wants players to wear, basically, an extension of the visor that many players currently wear, with the rest of the inside of the face mask covered by a plastic barrier.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has no interest in wearing a full face shield, because he determined long ago he has no interest wearing half of a face shield.

“My second year in the league I thought it’d be cool, I put a visor on my helmet,” Watt said during a Wednesday visit to #PFTPM. “I was like, ‘It looks so cool, I wanna put a visor on.’ I had it on for about three periods of practice and I said, ‘Take this sucker off I’m gonna die out here.’ . . . So now you’re gonna put something around my mouth? You can keep that. If that comes into play, I don’t think you’re gonna see me on the field.”

That’s one of the primary disconnects between practices aimed at keeping players safe and the realities of playing football. It won’t be football if players can’t play it as comfortably as possible, which illustrates how difficult it will be to strike the balance between maximum virus protection and maximum football capacity.
 

StarStruck

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
The 49ers also have announced that they will be reducing their seating...........if fans are ever allowed. As far as the Texans and Cowboys stadium, both have had a large number of complaints of heat and poor circulation when the roofs are open, especially with the ambient temps above 80 degrees. The Texans especially have a problem with this since the stadium, rather than being in splayed arrangement, is vertical and compacted. Neither of these stadiums offer the full advantages of a true open air stadium..............with or without COVID.
I have suffered the affects of the retracted roof when the temperature was above 80 at NRG, most notable the game against Pittsburgh. The Cowboys has a better advantage because in addition to opening the roof the can open both end zones to give a somewhat partial outdoor feel.

I haven’t heard what the Cowboys plans are yet, but until COVID is under control, I won’t be at any stadium.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
The most important part of the Protocol has yet to be established.................that of testing. The logistics of getting around known testing accuracy and very inconsistent, and usually slow turnaround (rapid testing today is much less accurate than regular swab testing). And despite the NFL saying that they have enough testing kits...........if they don't even know what tests they will use, their assertions are even more questionable. Even if there are enough test kits available, it has become more and more evident that there has been a decreased availability of the chemicals required to perform the tests...........and the personnel to run the tests.

The status of the testing Protocol at this time is that there is no Protocol. The probability of a reliable and effective Protocol being developed by the beginning of the season is not anything I would put any money on.............unless you've already won a large sum money gambling and need a heck of a tax deduction of gambling losses. :)
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One key aspect of the 2020 game-day experience remains unresolved, however. Players and Tier 1/Tier 2 individuals (such as coaches) “will undergo screening and testing in accordance with the Screening and Testing Protocol.” That protocol, however, has not yet been finalized.

It becomes, obviously, a critical document. In May, some connected to the league believed that, by September, rapid-response testing would be readily and reliably available, allowing players, coaches, and anyone on the sidelines to be tested before they enter the stadium. Such testing has yet to be developed; the challenge for the NFL and the NFLPA will be to come up with a strategy that minimizes the chances of a player who has know symptoms but who has the virus from unknowingly shedding it during a game.

Without reliable and readily available rapid-response testing, it will be impossible to know with certainty whether players who have the virus will be entering a game, where all of the various efforts to limit the spread of the virus get turned on their head — and where players are breathing hard and sweating and spitting and bleeding.

The ability of the NFL to pull off the 2020 season hinges in many respects on the ability to keep players who have the virus away from the field of play. That’s the one area where normal protocols won’t work, and where the only safeguard will be ensuring that only players who recently tested negative will be in the fray.

Without the ability to obtain a reliable negative test on game day, every game will become a roll of the dice on a possible outbreak. Whether the NFL will be rolling the dice for up to 32 preseason games, for 256 regular-season games, and for 13 postseason games remains to be seen, based on the details of the to-be-finalized testing protocol.

LINK
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Looks like all organized sports are selling out to the Devil in order to have their personnel tested in a timely fashion...........in priority to the most important already overloaded and backlogged public testing resources.

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Questions emerge about sports draining public resources
July 10, 2020, 10:24 AM EDT

With American professional sports beginning to return at a time when the coronavirus is washing through the nation unrestrained, the importance of prioritized COVID-19 testing for sports gives rise to important questions regarding the strain placed on resources otherwise available to the public.

As explained by Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports Philadelphia, efforts by the NBA to secure a quick turnaround in testing amounts to the NBA getting preference over the general public at the laboratory the NBA utilizes. Haberstroh explains that, earlier this week, the NBA switched from Quest Diagnostics to BioReference. Coincidentally, Quest recently made it clear that individuals other than “hospital patients, pre-operative patients in acute care settings and symptomatic healthcare workers” will now have an average turnaround of 4-6 days between collection of sample and outcome of test.

BioReference apparently will be moving more quickly for the NBA, primarily because BioReference seems to be willing to give the NBA priority. As Halberstroh notes, the BioReference website advises that “If you are looking for your COVID-19 PCR (swab) results please note that these may not be available in the patient portal for up to 5-7 days after collection.”

Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist quoted in Halberstroh’s article, separately observes that the MLS is using BioReference, and that the MLS is receiving test results within 24-48 hours.

“MLS is jumping the line, at *best* delaying the public’s results,” Binney tweeted. “It’s a scandal.”...........................


..........................That’s an important point because NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith made it clear nearly three months ago that he wants no special treatment for football.

“I don’t think that anyone in our larger community should suffer simply because we want football to proceed on time,” Smith said in late April. “We know that we are in a situation now where we cannot mass test the people who need it. . . . We have to make sure that they are taken care of first.”

For a while, it appeared that a rapid turnaround of tests for football players would not put a strain on resources for the public. Now, given that too many members of the public have ignored the pandemic and that too many voices in politics and media are encouraging them to ignore the pandemic, the situation has gotten worse and worse and worse.

With no sign that things are getting any better and with the NFL fewer than three weeks away from the start of training camp, the question of whether the NFL will have no qualms about jamming regular testing for 2,560 players (based on an 80-man roster) and coaches, trainers, and other essential staff into a pipeline that generates results quickly while slowing down the process for the rest of the populace becomes critical to the question of whether the NFL’s still-to-be-finalized testing protocol will work.

If De Smith’s comments from April resonate into August, there’s a real chance that it won’t.

THE WHOLE STORY
 


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